MONUMENT, Colo. (KUSA) -- Department of Corrections Executive Director Tom Clements has been murdered in his Monument home.
Authorities say Clements was shot in the chest when he answered the
door of his home just after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police are not releasing
the extent of Clements' injuries or the type of weapon that was used.
Lieutenant Jeff Kramer with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office says a
family member who was home at the time made the 911 call. He is not
releasing which family member made the call He is also unaware of where
Clements' family was during the shooting.
Kramer says they do not have a suspect identified or a suspect
description. However, Kramer said they have a vague, vehicle
description. Kramer says a witness saw an unoccupied vehicle around 8:30
p.m. The witness described the vehicle as a 1990s-model, two-door,
dark-colored, boxy car. The witness said there were dash lights that
appeared to be green.
A few minutes later, the vehicle was gone from the area, according to
the witness. However, a few minutes later, a witness say the same
vehicle driving around Jackson Creek Parkway. The witness said there
appeared to only be one person in the car.
Although the killer is on the run, authorities do not believe the
neighborhood or area where the shooting happened is in danger. Police
canvassed the area and informed neighbors about the crime. No reverse
emergency notifications were sent out.
Police do not have a suspect description either. Authorities brought
in multiple units and a K-9 unit to help with the search around the
crime scene. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is also assisting in
Kramer says Clements' position may have made him a target. Kramer
specified he was not aware of any threats made against Clements
recently. A law-enforcement source told 9NEWS security is being
increased at Governor John Hickenlooper's home. Read more about the security increase here.
The 58-year-old lived on Colonial Park Drive near Higby Road in an
upscale neighborhood of large lots northwest of Fox Run Regional Park.
He leaves behind his wife Lisa and his two daughters Rachel and Sara.
"We will be at work today," Alison Morgan, the spokesperson for the
DOC, told 9NEWS. "That's how we honor and respect Tom's memory and
that's how we will do it every day."
Tom Clements was appointed to serve as the DOC Executive Director by Governor Hickenlooper in January 2011.
As the executive director, he's responsible for all state and private prisons and parole operations.
Before taking the top job in Colorado he served for 31 years in the
Missouri Department of Corrections. The DOC in Colorado is a huge
department with more has a $700 million annual budget and some 6,000
Hickenlooper sent a statement to the employees of the Department of Corrections:
"Last night, Tom Clements was killed at his home in Monument. I can hardly believe it, let alone write words to describe it.
As your Executive Director, he helped change and improve DOC in
two years more than most people could do in eight years. He was
unfailingly kind and thoughtful, and sought the "good" in any situation.
As you all know, in corrections that is not easy.
We have no more details than that. I am so sad. I have never
worked with a better person than Tom, and I can't imagine our team
Tom regularly spoke of your professionalism and dedication to the
department. It is during times like this that we must stand together to
meet the Department's public safety mission and to honor Tom's memory.
I know that you all join me in sending prayers and support to
Tom's wife, Lisa, their two daughters and their family. For the next few
days, please allow them to grieve with their family in private."
With all our heart,
Hickenlooper ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff at
all public buildings statewide in memory of Clements. Flags should be
lowered from sunrise to sunset until the day after his funeral. Those
arrangements are pending, according to the Governor's office.
Colorado Workers for Innovations and New Solutions released the following statement in response to Clements' death:
"Tom Clements was a leader who looked out for those he led. As we
worked on any number of issues facing the Corrections workforce, we
always knew we had a reasonable and enlightened man at the other end of
the table who wanted to reach a fair solution . He was a friend of this
union and we are shocked by this tragedy."
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)
Natalie Pallone, KUSA