Shooting rampage begins in Denver, ends in Lakewood with five dead plus shooter

Investigators ID the suspected shooter and victims

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A deadly shooting rampage in Denver and Lakewood claimed the lives of five victims and ultimately ended with the suspect’s death.

Lyndon James McLeod, 47, identified by the Lakewood Police Department at a press conference held the day after the shootings, opened fire in tattoo shops, homes and a hotel lobby during a killing spree on the evening of Dec. 27. 

Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said that it appears that McLeod was targeting specific people and businesses. 

The incident is believed to have started around 5:25 p.m. Dec. 27 when three individuals were shot near 1st Avenue and Broadway in Denver. Two women were killed in that shooting, including Alicia Cardenas, owner of Denver tattoo shop Sol Tribe.

The other victim, a man, was injured and taken to the hospital for treatment. He remains in critical condition, according to Clark. 

Around 5:31 p.m. near 6th Avenue and Cherokee Street, the shooter attempted to gain access to a residence and fired at the occupants. No one was injured. In a nearby alley, a van was set on fire.

"It appears the suspect was responsible for starting that fire," Clark said. "We're working to determine the source of the fire."

Around 5:45 p.m., the Denver Police department reported gunshots at the 1200 block of Williams Street. A man was killed.

At that point, investegators got information on McLeod's vehicle and located it around 5:49 p.m. 

Denver officers exchanged gunfire with McLeod as they were in pursuit of his vehicle near 8th Avenue and Zuni Street. The shots disabled the police car, allowing McLeod to flee to Lakewood. 

Lakewood Police Spokesman John Romero said that just before 6 p.m., his department received a report of shots fired at Lucky 13 Tattoo in Lakewood. The victim, Danny Scofield, was pronounced dead at the scene.  

Lakewood police were able to locate the vehicle near Belmar shopping center and the driver opened fire. Police returned fire, but the suspect fled the scene on foot. 

Around 6:10 p.m., McLeod retreated to the Hyatt Place Hotel, where he shot a desk clerk, Sarah Steck. Steck later died in the hospital.

McLeod fled the scene again before being confronted by Lakewood police agents, who ordered him to drop his weapon. McLeod shot and injured Lakewood Police Agent Ashley Ferris, who recovered enough to return fire, killing McLeod. 

“I can’t emphasize enough the heroic actions of our Lakewood Police agent," he said. "In the face of being shot, in the face of danger, she was able to save others from this terrible tragedy.” 

MORE: Shooting spree is 687th mass shooting in the US for 2021

Pazen said that McLeod was on the radar of law enforcement due to investigations in 2020 and early 2021 that did not result in criminal charges. Those details are not being released at this time.

This is a developing story, as the investigation is ongoing.

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