Denver Shooting Suspect wrote books anticipating attacks

DENVER (AP), -- Five people were killed in a Denver rampage. A fictional book was self-published online by a man who is accused of writing it. It names some of his real victims and describes similar attacks.

Denver Shooting Suspect wrote books anticipating attacks

According to a Denver police spokesperson, Doug Schepman, the writings are part the investigation into Lyndon James McLeod's actions in the shootings that occurred Monday at multiple locations throughout the metro.

Police have stated that McLeod, 47 years old, was close to most of those he shot through personal or business relationships. Four of the victims were attacked in tattoo shops. Two other victims were also wounded. One of the officers who shot McLeod, after being hit, was also hurt.

Roman McClay wrote the first novel. Lyndon, a character, follows Michael Swinyard to a poker party. He pretends to be a police officer and gets access to Cheesman Park. Then he fatally shot everyone at the party, robbed them all, and then fled with his dog in a van.

Police said that Michael Swinyard (67) was shot to death Monday at a residence near Denver's Cheesman Park.

McClay also names Lyndon as a character in his second novel. She also mentions Sol Tribe, her tattoo shop.

Alicia Cardenas (44-year-old tattoo artist) was one of his first victims during Monday's rampage. Alyssa Gunn (35), and another woman were also killed in her tattoo shop. Police said that a man also injured at the shop is expected to survive. Customers and friends identified him as James Maldonado Gunn, Gunn's husband. He is a piercer in the area.

The shop is located less than one mile (1.6 km) from McLeod's tattoo shop, which was listed as the lease holder between 2014-2016. According to city records, Cardenas took over the shop before moving it to its current location.

According to city records, McLeod wasn't licensed to operate a tattoo shop in Denver.

Cardenas' 12-year-old daughter described herself as an "proud Indigenous artist" and also painted murals.

At a Tuesday news conference, Chief Paul Pazen of Denver Police stated that McLeod was under the radar of law enforcement. He had been investigated in 2020 and 2021. Although he declined to give details about McLeod's investigation, he said that no charges had been filed against him.

Commander of the Denver Police Department’s Major Crimes Division, Matt Clark, stated that McLeod knew most people he targeted, but not the last -- a clerk at a Belmar hotel in Lakewood. Clark stated that McLeod had been in contact with the hotel.

Sarah Steck, a 28-year-old hotel clerk, succumbed to her injuries on Tuesday.

Metropolitan State University awarded Steck a bachelor's in fine art in communication design. According to The Denver Post, her infectious laugh and love for kittens, art, and music were well-known among her coworkers at the hotel.

McLeod entered a home that also houses a business shortly after the Cardenas shop shooting. According to city records, it is licensed as an tattoo shop. Clark stated that he pursued the occupants of the building and fired shots but that no one was hurt. Clark stated that he then shot and killed Swinyard, near Cheesman Park.

Clark stated that Denver police later chased McLeod's car, believing it was involved in the shootings. Clark also said that an officer exchanged gunfire after McLeod. After gunfire destroyed the cruiser of the officer, McLeod managed to flee into Lakewood.

The Lakewood Police Department was notified by the Lucky 13 Tattoo Shop that shots had been fired just before 6 p.m. According to John Romero, a Lakewood police spokesperson, Danny Scofield, 38 was shot and killed at the Lucky 13 tattoo shop.

According to a website that raised money for Scofield's family, Scofield was a father to three children.

Romero stated that McLeod opened fire on officers who spotted the car believed to be involved in the Belmar shooting -- where shops line the sidewalks in a modernized downtown -- and they fired back. He allegedly fled and threatened others in a restaurant with his gun, before heading to Hyatt House Hotel, where he spoke briefly before shooting Steck.

A minute later, Lakewood officer Ashley Ferris saw McLeod. She ordered him to put his gun down. The gunman shot her in the abdomen, but she fired back and killed him.

Ferris had surgery Monday night. He is expected to make a full recover.

Romero stated Tuesday that she cannot overemphasize the heroism of the Lakewood police officer. "She was shot in the face and faced with danger but she managed to save others from this horrible tragedy and neutralize the threat."

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