Denver rampage: Suspect wrote about a murderous rampage in a series of books under a pseudonym
Five people were killed in the shooting and several were injured – including a policewoman. Investigators believe the shooter targeted some of his victims, but his motive remains unclear, Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said.
The shooter – identified as Lyndon James McLeod, 47 – was killed after a shootout with a police officer.
McLeod writes in one of his books with terrifying details about a character named “Lyndon Macleod” who dressed in police uniform and killed another character named “Michael Swinyard” in a building on 1300 Williams Street.
One of the victims in Monday’s shooting was Michael Swinyard, the Denver County Coronerâs office said. According to police, he was killed at the same address.
In another book, McLeod writes about a character who kills a woman named Alicia Cardenas. The Denver County Coronerâs office said a woman named Alicia Cardenas had been killed.
Family and police say 3 of the shooting victims were killed in tattoo parlors
Authorities, friends and relatives identified three other victims on Wednesday.
Alfredo Cardenas, the father of Alicia Cardenas, told KMGH that his daughter was sociable, friendly and a “real leader in the community”.
Two other Sol Tribe employees were shot dead in the killing spree on Monday evening, the subsidiary’s father said.
Alyssa Gunn Maldonado, assistant manager of the Sol Tribe, was killed and her husband James Maldonado was hospitalized after being injured in the shootings, a friend and former colleague told CNN. James Maldonado was a piercer in the tattoo parlor.
Swinyard, 67, was killed in Denver, according to the Denver city / county coroner. Police Commander Matt Clark previously mentioned a victim who was killed at his home near the Cheesman Park area east of downtown Denver, and the address listed in the coroner’s press release is one block north of the park.
Police also identified two other victims in the Lakewood suburb: Danny Scofield, 38, who was fatally shot at Lucky 13 Tattoo, and Sarah Steck, 28, who was killed while working at the Hyatt House hotel.
The motive behind the shooting is still unclear
Denver Police Department investigated McLeod in 2020 and early 2021, but no charges were ever brought, Chief Pazen said Tuesday.
“This person was on law enforcement radar,” he said without elaborating.
It appears that McLeod had a connection to the local tattoo community through his former affiliation with a now-closed studio, though it’s also unclear whether the shootings were related to McLeod’s previous business relationships.
A Denver tattoo parlor that McLeod lists as its “registered agent” was founded in 2005, according to the Colorado State Department, and “defaulted for failing to file a periodic report” in 2017. CNN has reached out to the Denver Police Department for comment.
The site of the former business – just south of the Denver Health Medical Center, where one of the shootings took place Monday night – is now a tattoo parlor with a different name. Another incident had been reported at this intersection, said Pazen.
“We assume that a weapon was fired. However, we have no injuries in this particular location,” said the chief.
The shootout included a chase and a shootout
McLeod reportedly opened fire in several locations in Denver before traveling to Lakewood, about eight miles west of downtown Denver, Pazen said.
The shootings began just after 5 p.m. when the gunman killed two women and wounded a man in Denver’s busy South Broadway neighborhood, the chief said. Sol Tribe is on Broadway.
The injured man was rushed to hospital and was in critical condition on Tuesday but is expected to survive, said Denver police commander Clark.
Authorities then received a phone call about a break-in, in which the suspect broke into a building and fired gunshots, according to Clark. The people got away there unharmed. Several blocks away, the gunman killed the man at his home near Cheesman Park, Clark said.
Denver Police identified and tracked a black Ford linked to the incident, which led to a shootout, the boss said.
“We believe the person fled to Lakewood after the police car was deactivated,” he said.
Authorities received a report of shots fired at Lucky 13 Tattoo shortly before 6 p.m., Lakewood police spokesman John Romero said. Scofield was pronounced dead on the scene.
The shooter made his way to the Hyatt House Hotel in a shopping center a few kilometers away, where he is said to have shot the later deceased Steck, the police said on Tuesday.
Lakewood police agent Ashley Ferris eventually confronted McLeod in a shopping district near the hotel and “ordered him to drop his gun as he approached her,” a Lakewood police press release said.
The shooter ignored Ferris’ orders and shot her, hitting her abdomen, the message said. âAgent Ferris, shot and wounded on the ground, was able to return fire on the suspect. The suspect was shot by Agent Ferris and died on the scene. ”
Ferris is staying in the hospital, according to a press release on Wednesday.
“The entire Lakewood Police family will be here to support Agent Ferris and her family in their recovery process,” said Lakewood Police Chief Dan McCasky.
CNN’s Ashley Killough, Omar Jimenez, Eric Levenson, Caroll Alvarado and Shawn Nottingham contributed to this report.