Denver gunman who killed 5 focused a few of his victims, police say

A gunman who went on a taking pictures rampage in a number of areas across the Denver space, killing 5 folks and wounding two, focused his victims primarily based on earlier private and enterprise dealings, authorities mentioned Tuesday.

Lyndon James McLeod, 47, was additionally killed Monday evening after he shot a police officer who confronted him in a busy procuring district within the Denver suburb of Lakewood. The officer managed to fireplace again at McLeod, killing him, Lakewood police spokesperson John Romero mentioned.

Matt Clark, commander of the Denver Police Division’s Main Crimes Division, mentioned the gunman knew most of his victims however not the final individual he shot — a clerk in a lodge in Lakewood’s Belmar procuring space. Sarah Steck, 28, who died of her accidents Tuesday, was apparently focused due to a dispute with the lodge, not along with her, Clark mentioned.

McLeod as soon as owned a enterprise in Denver known as Flat Black Ink Corp. at an handle that’s now World Tattoo Studio, in line with information from the Colorado Secretary of State’s Workplace. A person who answered the telephone at World Tattoo Studio hung up after he was requested about McLeod on Tuesday night.

The primary taking pictures happened at a tattoo store lower than a mile from that handle. 4 of the victims, together with three who died, had been shot at two tattoo retailers within the Denver space.

Mourners gentle candles and place flowers in entrance of a makeshift memorial exterior Sol Tribe Customized Tattoo and Physique Piercing store on Broadway the place, on Monday, two girls had been killed and a person was injured in a taking pictures rampage on December 28, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.

Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Submit through Getty Pictures

Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen mentioned throughout a information convention that McLeod was on the radar of regulation enforcement and had been investigated in each 2020 and 2021. He declined to say what McLeod was investigated for however mentioned fees weren’t filed in opposition to him.

The shootings began round 5:30 p.m. in central Denver alongside Broadway, a busy avenue lined with retailers, bars and eating places, the place two girls had been killed and a person was injured however anticipated to outlive, police mentioned. Quickly after, McLeod pressured his method into a house that additionally housed a enterprise close by, pursued the occupants via the constructing and fired pictures, however nobody was injured, Clark mentioned. Then a person was shot and killed in a house close to Denver’s Cheesman Park, he mentioned.

Later, Denver police chased the automobile believed to have been concerned within the shootings, and an officer exchanged gunfire with McLeod, Clark mentioned. McLeod was in a position to get away, fleeing into Lakewood, after gunfire disabled the officer’s cruiser, he mentioned.

Simply earlier than 6 p.m., the Lakewood Police Division acquired a report of pictures fired on the Fortunate 13 tattoo store. Danny Schofield, 38, was killed there, Romero mentioned.

When officers noticed the automobile suspected of being concerned within the taking pictures on the Belmar procuring space — the place retailers line sidewalks in a contemporary model of a downtown — McLeod opened hearth and officers shot again, Romero mentioned. He ran away and allegedly threatened some folks in a restaurant with a gun earlier than going to the Hyatt Home lodge, the place he spoke briefly with Steck, the clerk, earlier than taking pictures her, he mentioned.

A few minute later, the Lakewood police officer noticed McLeod and ordered him to drop his weapon. She was shot within the stomach however fired again at him, Romero mentioned.

The wounded officer, whose title has not been launched, underwent surgical procedure Monday evening. She is anticipated to make a full restoration.

Relations recognized one of many different victims Tuesday as Alicia Cardenas, 44, the proprietor of the Sol Tribe tattoo store, the place the primary taking pictures occurred.

Alfredo Cardenas instructed KMGH-TV that his solely daughter owned her first tattoo store when she was 19 and had labored within the Broadway location in Denver for 15 to twenty years.

“Very gregarious, very pleasant, however she was a really decided individual,” he mentioned. “She knew the place she was going.”

Alicia Cardenas is survived by her 12-year-old, Alfredo Cardenas mentioned.

On Tuesday, candles, flower bouquets and a few containers of fruit rested within the doorway of Cardenas’ store as folks, together with her fiance, Daniel Clelland, stopped by to recollect a lady they mentioned cared for thus many.

“I do not know why somebody would do that,” Clelland mentioned.

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