A department spokeswoman questioned a theory that the death of Tom Clements was a "hit" ordered by the 211 Crew prison gang in retaliation for efforts to break up the gang through transfers, KUSA-TV, Denver, reported.
"It is irresponsible for The Denver Post to issue the report regarding our tactics of shuffling the 211 security threat in an effort to jar their organization," spokeswoman Alison Morgan said.
Morgan said inmates are shuffled through the system "constantly for a myriad of reasons."
Investigators determined a bullet casing found at the scene of Clements' killing matches casings found after a high-speed chase and shootout in Texas involving 211 Crew gang member Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, who died.
Ebel was released from prison in late January after serving seven years, five of them in solitary confinement.
His father, attorney and former oil executive Jack Ebel, was a close friend of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who told CNN that Evan Ebel "had a bad streak, and they tried everything."
The governor said Clements' death was "incomprehensible, but I don't think it was part of a larger conspiracy."
A public memorial service for Clements was held Monday.