Nightly News   |  March 20, 2013

Manhunt underway for Colorado shooter

Tom Clements, the head of the Colorado Department of Corrections, was shot as he answered the door and authorities say there still isn’t a sign of a suspect or a motive. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren reports.

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>>> back in this country, there is an intense manhunt under way in the state of colorado after a high profile figure in that state was shot and killed when he answered the front door to his own home. no one knows who did this or why. it happened last night in monument, just north of colorado springs . nbc's kristen dahlgren has our report.

>> reporter: in an upscale neighborhood outside denver, a desperate manhunt for a brazen killer that took his crime to the state's highest levels. shooting tom clements , the head of the colorado department of corrections in clements 's own home.

>> tom clements dedicated his life to being a public servant, to making our state better, to making the world a better place . he is going to be deeply missed.

>> reporter: while security was beefed up at colorado governor john hickenlooper 's mansion as a precaution, authorities say they have no suspect or motive.

>> we are sensitive to the fact there could be any number of people who may have a motive for wanting to target him for a crime such as this. however, we also remain open minded to all of the other possibilities as well.

>> reporter: since 2011 clements oversaw colorado's 20 prisons, home to more than 20,000 inmates. for 31 years before that he worked in missouri's prison system . tuesday night, clements was shot at his front door.

>> somebody rang the doorbell. the husband answered and was shot.

>> reporter: neighbors told police say saw a car running outside just minutes before the murder.

>> because we don't have a suspect, we don't know the whereabouts of the suspect we want folks to remain vigilant.

>> reporter: it's the latest shooting in a state that saw the aurora movie theater massacre and columbine. ironically the government kept his schedule today, signing tough new gun legislation limiting ammunition and requiring buyers to pay for background checks, just hours after the beloved member of his cabinet was shot.

>> he would have expected us to sign these bills and go forward today. that's the kind of man he was.

>> reporter: kristen dahlgren, nbc new, los angeles .