21 Mar 2013

Gunman kills Colorado prison official

8:17 pm on 21 March 2013

Police in the US state of Colorado are hunting for a gunman who killed the state's prison chief just hours before new gun laws took effect.

Tom Clements was shot in the chest as he answered a knock at his front door at about 8.30pm local time on Tuesday evening.

He was in charge of 20 prisons in Colorado.

Police say the killing does not appear to be linked to any break-in or robbery attempt, nor does it seem random.

Just hours later, a clearly emotional state governor John Hickenlooper reflected on the shooting while signing into law some of the toughest anti-gun legislation in the country.

The new laws expand background checks, putting the spotlight on anyone buying guns online or through private dealers, and limit ammunition magazines to 15 rounds.