Denver shooter’s company published series of books that mirrored deadly rampage, named 2 victims

Written by on December 29, 2021

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Colorado capturing spree: suspect was on police’s ‘radar’

Alicia Cardenas, 44, Danny Schofield, 38, and Sarah Steck, 28, had been among the many 5 individuals killed in a string of assaults in Denver and Lakewood.

STAFF VIDEO, USA TODAY

DENVER — A sequence of books revealed by an organization as soon as owned by the gunman who focused a number of individuals at tattoo parlors and elsewhere Monday throughout the Denver space eerily foreshadow the lethal capturing rampage – even naming two of the victims.

Six individuals, together with the shooter, died within the shootings in Denver and close by Lakewood on Monday night, authorities mentioned. Two individuals had been injured, together with a police officer.

Tattoo artists Alicia Cardenas, 44, and Danny Schofield, 38; former yoga teacher Alyssa Gunn Maldonado, 35; lodge clerk Sarah Steck, 28; and Michael Swinyard, 67, had been killed by the shooter, in accordance with relations and town health worker. Authorities didn’t launch the identities of the officer and one other man who had been injured.

Authorities on Tuesday recognized the gunman as Lyndon James McLeod, 47. He was killed in a gunfight with police. A motive stays below investigation. 

Within the books, revealed by a Denver enterprise that, in accordance with public data, the gunman as soon as owned, a essential character named “Lyndon James MacLeod” brutally murders individuals inside a tattoo parlor alongside the identical avenue as one of many shootings Monday.

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The character murders a person named Michael Swinyard and a lady named Alicia Cardenas. He additionally targets two extra individuals with the identical first names of two staff of Cardenas’ tattoo parlor, in addition to a person with the identical full title as one other Denver-area tattoo artist who wasn’t killed within the assaults. The guide additionally consists of characters recognized solely as “Sarah” and “Danny.”

Based on an Amazon itemizing for the sequence, the books had been revealed between 2018 and 2020. A web site and two social media pages for the sequence seem to advertise violent ideologies whereas additionally promoting merchandise. The books had been not obtainable to view on Amazon by Wednesday night and a Patreon hyperlink to an audiobook model had been disabled.

The gunman was identified to regulation enforcement and officers investigated him twice between mid-2020 and early 2021, Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen advised reporters in a joint press convention Tuesday. Neither investigation resulted in prison expenses, Pazen mentioned. He wouldn’t give additional particulars concerning the incidents.

Denver Police are “conscious” of the guide sequence, which has turn out to be “a element of our ongoing murder investigation,” the division advised USA TODAY in an announcement Wednesday.

The shooter had “private” or “enterprise” relationships with practically all the victims, Matt Clark, Denver police commander of the Main Crimes Division, mentioned Tuesday. “It does seem that the offender was concentrating on particular individuals on this case,” Clark mentioned.

Throughout the capturing spree, the gunman opened fireplace at three areas in or close to tattoo parlors, and 4 of the victims had been shot inside tattoo retailers, in accordance with addresses supplied by regulation enforcement.

The “complicated sequence of incidents” began after 5 p.m. Monday in Denver, Clark mentioned, when the person fatally shot Gunn Maldonado and Cardenas and wounded a person inside Sol Tribe Tattoo & Piercing. The person was taken to a hospital in crucial situation and is anticipated to outlive, Clark mentioned.

Minutes later, at an handle at or close to one other tattoo parlor, World Tattoo Studio, the person shot at individuals inside a hybrid residence-business, however nobody was injured, Clark mentioned. The person then set a van on fireplace within the alley behind the enterprise, Clark mentioned.

Police acquired a name concerning the capturing, then one other name minutes later, after the gunman fatally shot Swinyard in his residence close to Denver’s Cheesman Park, Clark mentioned. Officers situated the gunman minutes later and exchanged gunfire, however the man disabled the officers’ automotive and took off onto the freeway, Clark mentioned.

The person drove to Lakewood and fatally shot Schofield contained in the Fortunate 13 Tattoo Parlor, Lakewood Police spokesman John Romero mentioned.

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Romero mentioned Lakewood police brokers later discovered the person’s automobile close to or at a Wells Fargo financial institution in a busy purchasing district, and officers exchanged gunfire earlier than the person fled. The person then entered a close-by restaurant, the place he threatened individuals with a gun however didn’t fireplace any pictures or injure anybody, Romero mentioned.

The person went across the nook to the close by Hyatt Home lodge, walked inside, had a “transient dialog” with the entrance desk employee, Steck, and shot her a number of occasions, Romero mentioned.

Lower than two minutes later, the person was strolling via a shopping mall when he encountered a Lakewood police agent, who was alone. The person shot the officer within the stomach, and he or she fatally shot him, Romero mentioned.

“I am unable to overemphasize sufficient the heroic actions of our Lakewood police agent. Within the face of being shot, within the face of hazard, she was in a position to not solely save others from this horrible tragedy but in addition neutralize the risk,” Romero mentioned.

The three-year veteran of the division underwent surgical procedure and can want extra surgical procedures however is in steady situation, Romero mentioned Tuesday. The officer’s household was touring to Colorado, and her identification could be made public later, Romero mentioned.

Steck, who labored on the Hyatt, was taken to the hospital Monday and died from her accidents Tuesday, police mentioned. Police mentioned the gunman had “earlier interactions with the lodge” however not Steck, particularly.

Wednesday, dozens of candles flickered within the weak winter solar as a gradual stream of mourners stopped by Sol Tribe Tattoo & Piercing to pay their respects, putting flowers and wiping away tears.

Cardenas, one of many victims, was a tattooer, mural artist and cultural anthropologist who owned Sol Tribe, in accordance with the store’s web site. The web site describes Cardenas as a “true Denver Native” and a “proud Indigenous artist.” Cardenas’ father, Alfredo Cardenas advised USA TODAY he was in “shock.” Cardenas is survived by her 12-year-old daughter, Alfredo Cardenas mentioned.

Gunn Maldonado was additionally fatally shot inside Sol Tribe. Her accomplice, James Maldonado, works on the store as a piercer, in accordance with the store’s web site. Gunn Maldonado taught yoga on the Sol Shine in Denver, in accordance with a publish on its Fb web page. Gunn Maldonado additionally mentioned on her Instagram that she was a doula in Denver.

Schofield, one other sufferer, was a tattoo artist and Colorado native, in accordance with the Fortunate 13 web site. He had been tattooing for about 15 years, in accordance with the location. He was also referred to as Dano Blair.

Schofield leaves behind three younger youngsters, pal Annie Bagford mentioned, displaying off her tattoos he’d crafted over time. “I’m simply so offended,” Bagford advised USA TODAY. “Danny by no means did improper to anyone. He didn’t should be shot. It is unnecessary. It’s simply so unfair to his children, to his household.”

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World Tattoo Studio proprietor Ian Lütz mentioned he had by no means heard of the McLeod earlier than he was recognized by police. Based on Colorado state enterprise data, McLeod was the proprietor of Flat Black Ink, a Denver enterprise that opened in 2005, was declared delinquent in 2017 and was listed as having a reputation change in 2018.

World Tattoo now operates on the identical Denver handle listed for Flat Black Ink.

“Yeah, I’ve no prior information of actually the historical past of the store earlier than my proudly owning it. I do know that Alicia owned it and it was kind of a secondary Sol Tribe,” Lütz advised USA TODAY. “That is about all I do know concerning the historical past of it. I’ve had the store for about four ½ years now.”

Contributing: Invoice Keveney, USA TODAY


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