Denver shooting suspect wrote books previewing attacks
DENVER (AP) – A man accused of killing five people in a rampage in Denver is said to have written self-published fiction books online that named some of his actual victims and described similar attacks.
The writings are part of the investigation into what led Lyndon James McLeod to carry out the shootings, which took place within an hour on Monday at several locations in the metro area, the police spokesperson said on Wednesday. from Denver, Doug Schepman.
McLeod, 47, knew most of the people he shot in the course of business or personal relationships, police said. Four of them were attacked in tattoo shops. In addition to those killed, two other people were injured, including a policeman who shot and killed McLeod after being shot.
In the first novel, written under the pseudonym Roman McClay, a character named Lyndon tracks down a poker game held by a character named “Michael Swinyard” and gains access to a building near Cheesman Park posing as a police officer. He then shoots everyone at the party and steals them before running off with his dog in a van.
In Monday’s attack, Michael Swinyard, 67, was shot and killed in a house near Cheesman Park in Denver, police said.
In her second novel, which also features a character named Lyndon, McClay names Alicia Cardenas as the victim. The book also mentions the tattoo shop she owned, Sol Tribe.
Alicia Cardenas, a 44-year-old tattoo artist, was one of her first victims in Monday’s rampage. She was killed in her tattoo parlor, along with another woman, Alyssa Gunn, 35. A man who was also injured there is expected to survive, police said. He has been identified by friends and clients as Gunn’s husband, James Maldonado, a piercer there.
This store is less than a mile (1.6 km) from a tattoo shop for which McLeod was listed as the lease holder between 2014 and 2016. Cardenas then took it over before moving the store to its location. current, according to city archives.
McLeod was not licensed to work as a tattoo artist or operate a tattoo business himself in Denver according to city records, a spokesperson for the Denver licensing agency Eric Escudero said Wednesday.
Cardenas, whose daughter is 12, described herself as a “proud Indigenous artist” who also painted murals.
Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen told a press conference Tuesday that McLeod was on law enforcement radar and was investigated in 2020 and 2021. He has declined to say what McLeod was investigated but said no charges have been laid against him.
Matt Clark, commander of the Denver Police Department’s major crimes division, said McLeod knew most of the people he was targeting, but not the last person he shot – a neighborhood hotel worker Belmar trader in Lakewood. However, McLeod had had a relationship with the hotel, Clark said.
Hotel worker Sarah Steck, 28, died of her injuries on Tuesday.
Steck graduated this year from Metropolitan State University with a BA in Communication Design. She was known among her colleagues at the hotel for her infectious laughter and her love of kittens, art and music, the Denver Post reported.
Shortly after the shooting at Cardenas’ store, McLeod forced his way into a residence that also houses a business. City records show it is licensed as a tattoo shop. He chased the occupants through the building and fired shots, but no one was hurt, Clark said. Then he shot and killed Swinyard near Cheesman Park, Clark said.
Denver Police later pursued the vehicle allegedly involved in the shooting and an officer exchanged gunfire with McLeod, Clark said. McLeod was able to escape, fleeing into Lakewood, after gunfire disabled the officer’s cruiser, he said.
Just before 6 p.m., the Lakewood Police Department received a report of shots fired at the Lucky 13 tattoo parlor. Danny Scofield, 38, was killed there, police spokesperson said. of Lakewood, John Romero.
Scofield was a father of three, according to a site raising funds for his family.
When officers spotted the car suspected of being involved in the shooting in the Belmar shopping district – where stores line the sidewalks in a modern version of a downtown area – McLeod opened fire and officers fired back, Romero said. He ran away and allegedly threatened some people in a restaurant with a gun before heading to the Hyatt House, where he spoke briefly with Steck, before shooting him, he said. declared.
About a minute later, Lakewood Constable Ashley Ferris saw McLeod and ordered him to drop his gun. She was shot in the abdomen but retaliated and killed the shooter.
Ferris underwent surgery on Monday evening and is expected to make a full recovery.
“I cannot stress enough the heroic actions of our Lakewood Constable,” Romero said at a press conference Tuesday. “In the face of shooting, in the face of danger, she was able not only to save others from this terrible tragedy, but also to neutralize the threat. ”
Associated Press writer Mead Gruver contributed to this report.