TODAY   |  March 21, 2013

Search underway for shooter of Colo. state official

In an upscale Denver neighborhood a manhunt is underway for a brazen killer who shot and killed Tom Clements, the head of Colorado’s Department of Corrections. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren reports.

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>>> closer to home, a manhunt underway in colorado this morning after the director of the department of corrections was shot and killed at his own front door. now investigators are looking to see if an ex-con could be to blame. kristen dahlgren in monument, colorado , with details. what can you tell us?

>> reporter: good morning, savann savannah, more than 20,000 inmates in colorado 's prison system , tom clements may have had a lot of enemies. but could one of them come here to his front door and shot him dead? it's what investigators are looking into this morning. in an upscale neighborhood outside denver, a desperate manhunt for a brazen killer who took his crime to the state's highest levels, shooting tom clements , the head of the colorado department of corrections in clements ' 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, deeply missed.

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

>> we're sensitive to the fact that there could be any number of people who may have a motive for wanting to target him for a crime such as this.

>> reporter: since 2011 , clements oversaw 20 prisons. for 31 years before that, he worked in missouri's prison system . his wife lisa oversees colorado 's two psychiatric hospitals and other mental health centers. the sheriff's department says they are looking at her position, as well.

>> and our investigators continue to make sure they're sensitive to any information that would come through those channels, as well.

>> reporter: clements was shot at his front door.

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

>> reporter: a neighbor told police they saw a car left running outside just minutes before the murder. they're also hoping that a woman comes forward who was seen walking in the area around the same time.

>> she may have been walking along colonial park drive around 8:30 last night, which is a key time frame for us. so we're interested in speaking with her, as well.

>> reporter: now, clements was involved in several high-profile cases recently. investigators say they are looking at everything. meanwhile, colorado 's prison system has temporarily been put on a modified lockdown in the wake of the shooting, savannah.

>> thank you very much.

>> surprising they wouldn't have had security around someone with that position's home.