Video: John Hickenlooper's angry exchange with reporter latest example of his very hard year
For Governor John Hickenlooper, it was a very hard week at the end of a hard year, filled with disasters both natural and man-made -- disasters Colorado is still struggling to understand. The frustrations that consumed Hickenlooper over the past twelve months came bubbling out during an interview about his friendship with a man whose son may have murdered Tom Clements, the slain prison boss being memorialized at 10 a.m. this morning in Colorado Springs; see the video below. But he's had plenty of practice dealing with frustrations.
Photos, video below.
It was on March 26, 2012 that Forest Service crew members noticed that embers from a prescribed burn conducted five days earlier in Jefferson County had crossed the containment line and called for backup.
Too late. The North Fork Fire ultimately consumed more than 4,000 acres, killing three and doing $11 million in damage. And that was just the start of the very bad year.
The North Fork Fire.
There were more fatal fires last summer -- at one point, there were ten blazes burning in Colorado, including the High Park Fire outside of Fort Collins and the Waldo Canyon Fire on the edge of Colorado Springs. And then came the gunfire.
On July 20, a gunman opened fire on a theater full of people watching a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. A dozen people died, and dozens were injured.
"2012 was a hard year," Hickenlooper said during his State of the State speech in January. And it wasn't over yet.
Last Wednesday, on the eight-month anniversary of the Aurora shootings, Hickenlooper signed three gun-control measures that had rolled through the Colorado Legislature. The night before, the governor had gotten word that Tom Clements, director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, had been murdered in his own home.
And the news got stranger: The now-deceased suspect in that slaying, Evan Ebel, is the son of a friend, a lawyer Hickenlooper met more than thirty years ago when the young geologist moved to Colorado and they worked at the same company. Clements was a friend, too.
Jack Ebel posing with his son, Evan.
Today, on the last day of a very hard year, Hickenlooper will speak at a memorial service for Clements at Colorado Springs' New Life Church.
Continue for more about John Hickenlooper's very hard year, including another photo and the aforementioned video.