MONUMENT, Colo. — In the weeks before Colorado's top prisons official was fatally shot after answering his front door, he carried out a variety of functions including requesting execution chemicals and speaking to legislators about security issues.
It's unknown what role Tom Clements' position as executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections might have played in the shooting Tuesday, but investigators said they aren't ruling out any possible motives, including whether it was random or a work-related attack.
Colorado corrections spokeswoman Adrienne Jacobson would not comment on whether Clements had security at his home. Security was stepped up for other state officials, including Gov. John Hickenlooper, who was ashen-faced as he addressed reporters at the Capitol before signing bills placing new restrictions on firearms.
"Tom Clements dedicated his life to being a public servant, to making our state a better place and he is going to be deeply, deeply missed," Hickenlooper said Wednesday.
Authorities are looking for a late-model car, possibly a Lincoln or a Cadillac, that a neighbor spotted outside Clements' home around the time of the shooting Tuesday, El Paso County Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Jeff Kramer said.
Kramer also said investigators want to speak with a woman seen speed-walking near Clements' home not long before the shooting because she may have seen the suspect. The woman was wearing light pants, a dark windbreaker and possibly a hat.
While small in numbers, similar attacks on officials have been increasing in the U.S. in recent years, said Glenn McGovern, an investigator with the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office in California who tracks such incidents worldwide. There have been roughly as many in the past three years — at least 35 — as the entire prior decade, he said. Revenge is usually the motive, McGovern said.