Horror jumps from the pages of a deranged, misogynistic, racist novel to a real-life nightmare in Denver
Author/gunman kills 5 and injures 2, carrying out scenes from his novels.
The new year has kicked off in a nightmarish fashion over the past holiday week. In a three-part series of articles, I will cover some of the significant events around the new year.
In today’s article, I will be going over the mass shooting that has shaken the Denver tattoo community to its core. What makes this story so horrific is that the killer wrote novels about perpetrating these horrific acts of terror years before he ever committed the acts. He included actual victims’ names and locations in the novels.
According to the Denver Post:
The man authorities say killed five people in a shooting spree across the Denver metro Monday, January 27th, wrote about killing two of the victims in a series of novels he self-published in the four years leading up to the attacks.
Who wrote about similar murders, personal grudges, and a desire for revenge in the three rambling, misogynistic and racist novels, which focused on rage, violence, economic inequality.
The ongoing horror show started on Monday evening of December 27th at approximately 5:30 pm, when a gunman killed five people and injured two others in a series of shootings in Denver. The shooter is believed to have targeted the victims based on previous personal and business dealings in the local tattoo industry and was investigated by police twice in the last two years.
Denver police said that Lyndon James McLeod, 47, also killed in the deadly rampage, knew most of the victims and was “on the radar of law enforcement.”
Matt Clark, the commander of Denver police’s major crimes division, said: “Based on what we know, it does appear that the offender was targeting specific people in this case. The victims were known to the offender.”
The shooting spree spanned several locations but started on S. Broadway St., where he murdered Alicia Cardenas and Alyssa Gunn Maldonado at one of the top tattoo shops in Denver, Sol Tribe, Maldonado’s husband Jimmy, survived the attack. Both women left behind 12-year-old children.
The attacker then moved to another location, breaking into a home/business. It is reported, the killer chased Jeremy Costello’s family, but thankfully Costello, his wife, and a 3-month-old baby escaped the attacker, who shot up their home and blew up a wheelchair-accessible van.
The killer then shot and killed a man in his home near Cheesman Park in Denver.
Police chased a vehicle believed to be involved in the shootings and exchanged gunfire with McLeod, but he escaped and headed to Lakewood.
Shortly before 6 pm, Lakewood police received a report of shots fired at the Lucky 13 tattoo shop. Police said that a man, identified as Danny Schofield, 38, was killed there. Schofield leaves behind his three children, 10-, 12-, and 16-years-old.
After his car was spotted at the Belmar shopping area, McLeod opened fire at police, and officers shot back, after which he ran away, threatening customers in a restaurant, and then went to the Hyatt House hotel, where he spoke briefly to the hotel clerk, Sarah Steck, 28, and shot her. She was later pronounced dead. It is not believed that McLeod knew the last soul he took from this world, but it is believed she may have been targeted due to a dispute with the hotel.
A minute later, McLeod was engaged by a Lakewood police officer, Ashley Ferris. McLeod shot Ferris in the abdomen. However, Ferris returned fire from the ground and hit the suspect as he fled the scene. That shot ended the night’s rampage.
While wearing a bulletproof vest, Ferris was rushed to the hospital and admitted into surgery. She is reportedly "doing well" and with family, according to Lakewood Police.
All the victims other than Steck were respected artists in the Denver tattoo and piercing communities.