Suspect in the Denver shootings wrote books previewing the attacks | Taiwan News

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 fire Monday in less than an hour around town, Denver Police spokesman Doug Schepman said on Wednesday.

McLeod, 47, knew most of the people he shot in several locations around the metro area, through professional or personal connections, police said. Four of the people who were shot were assaulted in tattoo shops. Two others 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, 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.

Cardenas, a 44-year-old tattoo artist, was one of the first victims of Monday’s rampage. She was killed on Monday 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. Sarah Steck, 28, died Tuesday of her injuries. However, McLeod had had a relationship with the hotel, Clark said.

Steck graduated this year from Metropolitan State University with a BA in Communication Design. She was known among her colleagues at the hotel, where she also worked at school, for her infectious laughter and 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 Denver’s 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 to Steck, the clerk, before shooting him, a- he declared.

About a minute later, a Lakewood cop saw McLeod and ordered him to drop his gun. She was shot in the abdomen but fired back at him, Romero said.

The injured officer, whose name has not been released, underwent surgery on Monday evening. She is expected to make a full recovery.


Associated Press writer Mead Gruver contributed to this report.


This story has been corrected to change the spelling of Danny Scofield’s last name.

Janice J. Kostka