Tom Clements, the executive director of Colorado’s department of corrections, was shot dead last night—but the who and why remain a mystery. Clements was shot fatally in the chest as he answered the door of his home in Monument, Colo., reports NBC, but nobody else in the house was harmed. Although there's no clear connection, the timing is notable: the shooting comes on the eve of tough and controversial new gun laws in the state, following the movie theater massacre in Aurora last year.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to sign new legislation today that will restrict magazine capacity and expand background checks on private and online firearms sales. But his first duty this morning was instead to pen a letter to Department of Corrections employees. "I can hardly believe it, let alone write words to describe it," wrote Hickenlooper. "I am so sad. I have never worked with a better person than Tom, and I can't imagine our team without him." (Read more Tom Clements stories.)