Lyndon James McLeod
The man accused of killing five people in the Denver riots is believed to have written fictional books, self-published on the Internet, which named some of his real victims and described similar attacks.
The tapes are part of an investigation into what prompted Lyndon James McLeod to fire Monday’s shooting less than an hour’s drive around town, Denver police spokesman Doug Shepman said Wednesday.
McLeod, 47, knew most of the people he shot at multiple locations in the metro area through business or personal relationships, police said. Four of the wounded were attacked in tattoo parlors. Two others were injured, including a police officer who shot McLeod after being hit.
In the first novel, written under the pseudonym Roman McClay, a character named Lyndon chases a poker party hosted by a character named “Michael Swignyard” and gains access to a building near Cheeseman Park, posing as a police officer. He then fatally shoots everyone at the party and rob them before escaping with his dog in the van.
Police said that during Monday’s attack, 67-year-old Svinyard was fatally shot at a home near Denver’s Cheeseman Park.
In the second novel, which also features a character named Lyndon, McClay calls Alicia Cardenas a victim. The book also mentions the Sol Tribe tattoo shop that she owned.
Cardenas, a 44-year-old tattoo artist, was one of his first victims in Monday’s rampage. She was killed in her tattoo parlor along with another woman, 35-year-old Alyssa Gunn, on Monday. Police said the person who was also injured there will survive. Friends and clients have identified him as Gunn’s husband, James Maldonado, who was a piercer.
This store is less than a mile (1.6 km) from the tattoo parlor, which McLeod was listed as a landlord between 2014 and 2016. Cardenas later took over before moving the store to its current location, city records show.
According to city data, McLeod was not licensed to work as a tattoo artist or to operate the tattoo business in Denver, Denver licensing agency spokesman Eric Escudero said Wednesday.
Cardenas, whose daughter is 12, described herself as a “proud indigenous artist” who also painted murals.
Denver Police Chief Paul Pazin said during a press conference on Tuesday that McLeod is under law enforcement scrutiny and is under investigation in both 2020 and 2021. He declined to say which case was being investigated, but said that no charges had been brought against him.
Matt Clarke, the Denver Police Department’s violent crime chief, said at the time that MacLeod knew most of the people he targeted, but not the last person he shot, a hotel clerk in the Belmar shopping district in Lakewood. Sarah Stack, 28, who died of her injuries on Tuesday. However, according to Clarke, McLeod had some business with the hotel.
Stack graduated this year from Metropolitan State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design. As reported by The Denver Post, she was known among her colleagues at the hotel, where she also worked while at school, for her infectious laugh and love for kittens, art and music.
Shortly after the shooting at Cardenas’ store, MacLeod broke into the residence, which also houses the business. City records show that he has a license for a tattoo parlor. Clarke said he chased passengers through the building and shot, but no one was hurt. He then shot Svinyard near Denver’s Cheeseman Park, Clark said.
Denver police later chased a vehicle allegedly involved in the shootings and the officer fired on McLeod, Clark said. According to him, McLeod was able to escape by escaping to Lakewood after the gunfire knocked out the officer’s cruiser.
Shortly before 6:00 pm, the Lakewood Police Department received reports of shots at the Lucky 13 tattoo parlor. Danny Scofield, 38, was killed there, Lakewood police spokesman John Romero said.
Scofield was the father of three children, according to a website that raised money for his family.
When police spotted a suspected shooting vehicle in a Belmar shopping area – where shops line the sidewalks in a modern version of downtown – McLeod opened fire and police opened fire, Romero said. He escaped and allegedly threatened some people with a gun at a restaurant before heading to the Hyatt House, where he spoke briefly to clerk Stack before shooting her, he said.
About a minute later, a Lakewood police officer saw McLeod and ordered him to drop his weapon. According to Romero, she received a gunshot wound to the stomach, but shot him.
The injured officer, whose name has not been released, underwent surgery Monday night. She is expected to make a full recovery.