Denver, Colorado – On Monday evening December 27, 2021, a 47-year-old lone gunman Lyndon McLeod “Roman McClay” went on a shooting spree across Denver and Lakewood, Colorado, leaving 5 people dead before being fatally shot by police.
Gunman’s Deadly Shooting Across Denver and Lakewood Leaves 5 Dead
The rampage began around 5:25 p.m. when Denver Police received 911 calls reporting a shooting inside Sol Tribe Tattoo and Piercing shop. When officers arrived, they found two women – shop owner Alicia Cardenas and Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado – shot dead. A third victim, Jimmy Maldonado, was hospitalized with gunshot wounds to the neck and shoulder but survived.
Shortly after at 5:31 pm, authorities received reports that the suspect had broken into a building and fired shots a few blocks away from Sol Tribe Tattoo. People at that location escaped unharmed.
At approximately 5:45 pm, the shooter killed Michael Swinyard in his home near Cheesman Park, according to Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen. Swinyard was pronounced dead at the scene.
Around 5:49 p.m., the suspect exchanged gunfire with a Denver police officer at 8th Avenue and Zuni Street. The officer’s patrol car was disabled during the shootout, but no injuries were reported. The gunman was able to flee the scene in a black Ford van.
This final shooting in Denver preceded a pursuit into neighboring Lakewood, where the suspect continued his deadly rampage.
“We believe the individual, after disabling the police car, fled into Lakewood,”he said.
Suspect Continues Rampage in Lakewood
After fleeing Denver, the suspect continued his shooting spree in the city of Lakewood, taking three more lives before being fatally shot by police.
Just before 6 p.m. on Monday, Lakewood Police received reports of gunshots fired at Lucky 13 Tattoo shop. Responding officers found a victim, identified as Danny Scofield, dead at the scene.
The gunman then made his way to a nearby Hyatt House Hotel where he shot and killed 28-year-old front desk worker Sarah Steck. According to police spokesman John Romero, Steck later succumbed to her injuries.
After leaving the hotel, the suspect headed to the Belmar shopping center around 6:11-6:12 p.m. There he encountered Lakewood Police Agent Ashley Ferris in the area of Alaska and Vance.
Ferris ordered the gunman to drop his weapon, as we can see in the video footage shared by 9NEWS, but he ignored commands and proceeded to shoot her in the abdomen. Despite being wounded, Ferris was able to return fire, fatally striking the shooter.
The rampage came to an end when the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene following the exchange of gunfire with Agent Ferris.
The autopsy report and his Death
The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office has released the official autopsy report on Lyndon McLeod, providing details on the injuries sustained by the gunman before he was killed by police gunfire on Monday evening.
According to the autopsy findings, McLeod suffered multiple gunshot wounds during the exchange of fire with Lakewood police.
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Gunshots struck his chest, right thigh, and left foot. The fatal wound was a gunshot to the chest.
The coroner ruled that McLeod’s manner of death was homicide. He was fatally struck by bullets fired by Lakewood Police Agent Ashley Ferris during the shootout.
A toxicology test detected only two prescription medications in McLeod’s system. The autopsy found no evidence of alcohol or illegal substances in his body at the time of death.
Investigators Seek Motive Behind Lyndon’s Mass Shooting
As authorities continue investigating the tragic shootings across Denver and Lakewood, they are working to uncover what drove the suspect, Lyndon McLeod, to carry out the deadly rampage that left 5 dead.
According to the Secretary of State’s office, McLeod was the former owner of a tattoo shop called Flat Black Ink that went out of business in 2017 after failing to file required paperwork. One of Monday’s shootings occurred near the site of his former shop.
Those who knew McLeod said he harbored extremist views and had “hidden gun safes” in his former home. He had personal or business connections to all of his victims, indicating they were likely targeted.
The gunman had changed his name slightly in recent years, publishing a 3-book sci-fi series under the pseudonym Roman McClay between 2018 and 2020.
In the books, McLeod named the main character after himself and described a murder plot that bore chilling similarities to his real-life shooting at a Denver apartment complex.
In a YouTube interview about his fictional books, McLeod said the narrator was meant to be an artificial intelligence. References to emasculated men and COVID conspiracies also appeared on his social media.
While the gunman’s online footprint suggests extremist beliefs and violent fantasies, investigators have not released an official motive for the deadly spree.
McLeod Created Eerie Film Outlining Plans for Shooting Spree Before Massacre
Disturbing new details have emerged about a video created by Lyndon McLeod outlining his murderous plans prior to carrying out the deadly shootings across Denver and Lakewood.
A 47-minute film titled “War Horse” was mailed by McLeod to his girlfriend on December 27th – the same day as his shooting rampage that left 5 dead.
The package, which arrived after his death, also included instructions to sell the film along with copies of McLeod’s published books that had foreshadowed the killings.
According to those who have viewed it, the amateur film contains footage of McLeod planning the massacre and appears to outline his premeditated actions.
Eerily, two of the victims shared names with characters murdered in McLeod’s published books. One victim was even killed in a manner resembling a fictional scene described in the books.
Despite reservations, McLeod’s inner circle has made the film available for purchase online, charging $10 to stream and $30 to download – seeking to profit from his hateful legacy.
Family members of those murdered have expressed disgust at the attempt to disseminate McLeod’s “disturbing” final creation and message. They condemn those exploiting the tragedy for potential financial gain.
Lyndon’s Disturbing Books Full of Hateful Rants
Investigators have uncovered several published books authored by Lyndon McLeod under the pseudonym Roman McClay that contained violent and extremist messaging. The books appear to have foreshadowed McLeod’s own deadly shooting spree.
The fictional books contained disturbing rants expressing extremist views across nearly 800 pages. Online reviews described racist, s*xist, and anti-diversity screeds along with fantasies about committing murder.
One reviewer called it an “Alt-Right rant” with disturbing violent fantasies against groups like Black Lives Matter activists. The books gave insight into the darkest and most hateful beliefs of the author.
Most chilling were passages in the first book that described a murder plot mirroring McLeod’s real-life shooting in Denver.
In the book, the main character stakes out an apartment complex before dressing up like a police officer, arming himself, and carrying out killings. This closely matched the shooting at One Cheesman Place, where McLeod impersonated an officer while murdering a victim.
Chilling Post and far-right
In addition to his published books, Lyndon McLeod was active online spreading extremist far-right conspiracy theories and threatening rants glorifying violence.
McLeod maintained a Twitter account where he shared COVID-19 conspiracy memes depicting prominent figures like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates plotting to control the public through vaccines.
This embrace of disinformation and paranoia reflects McLeod’s susceptibility to far-right extremism and detachment from reality.
From 2018-2020, McLeod published a 3-part sci-fi book series under a pseudonym that depicted and glorified acts of violence. This further demonstrated his immersion in a violent, dystopian ideology.
In chilling social media posts last year, McLeod ranted about killing “weak” people whom he felt insulted and challenged “badasses” like himself. He called for violence against those he saw as inferior.