Nightly News   |  March 31, 2013

Texas district attorney shot dead in home

A district attorney and his wife were found shot dead in their Texas home on Saturday, a chilling crime that has become a murder mystery. NBC's Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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>>> outside dallas is in shock this easter sunday as authorities there hunt for a killer. for the second time in eight weeks, a prosecutor there was murdered, this time the district attorney, a gulf war veteran shot dead, as was his wife. tonight the mayor of the town next door to where this happened says it appears this was not a random act but it is still unclear whether the murders are related. we begin tonight with nbc 's gabe gutierrez in kaufman county , texas. gabe, good evening.

>> reporter: peter, good evening. today the local sheriff here said that he will increase security at the county courthouse , this as local police and the fbi try and figure out why someone would kill yet another public official . a chilling crime, now a murder mystery .

>> unnerving to the law enforcement community. it is unnerving to the community at large.

>> reporter: on saturday, police found the bodies of kaufman county d.a. mike mcclelland and his wife cynthia after a friend or relative couldn't reach them. sources tell local nbc station kxas an assault rifle was used to kill the mechanic lelmcclel understand.

>> reporter: the murders come two months after the county a assistant prosecutor mark hasse was killed on his way to work at the courthouse. mcclelland vowed just fit right after that shooting in january.

>> i hope that the people that did this are watching because we're very confident that we're going to find you, we're going to pull you out of whatever hole you're in and we're going to bring you back and let the people of kaufman county prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.

>> reporter: investigators had been looking into whether the assistant d.a.'s murder was connected to another high-profile killing of a public official , colorado prison chief tom clement. the suspect in that case who was part of a white supremacist group was later killed in a police shotout in north texas . the texas department of public safety had issued a state wide bulletin warning of credible information that the aryan brotherhood of texas was actively planning retaliation against law enforcement officials. but so far federal authorities tell nbc 's pete williams they haven't found any solid connection among the t(murders. the mayor of forney, the town nearest to the latest crime scene , is urging residents to stay calm.

>> it appears that this was not a random event , that it was a targeted attack.

>> reporter: but in this maul community outside dallas, neighbors are nervous.

>> it is very scary for something like that to happen so close to home .

>> reporter: in a recent interview, the district attorney had told the associated press that after that murder two months ago he's carried a gun with him everywhere he went and he was extra careful when answering his door.

>> gabe gutierrez in kaufman county ,