A former tattoo shop owner with extremist views has been identified as the gunman who slaughtered five people before he was shot dead by police.
A hotel clerk gravely wounded in a shooting spree died on Tuesday, bringing to five the number of people killed in Monday night’s rampage in Denver, US authorities said.
Lyndon McLeod, 47, had his own tattoo business, Flat Black Ink, until 2017, ABC reported, and on Monday he targeted several tattoo shops – with three of his five victims working in the same industry.
McLeod had extremist views and a history of psychiatric episodes, law enforcement sources told ABC News.
Police have not offered a possible motive for the killings and provided few details about McLeod, except to say that all of the dead but one, the hotel clerk, were known to him.
McLeod’s ties to the victims were not explained.
Alicia Cardenas, 44, Alyssa Gunn Maldonado, 35, and Danny Scofield, 38, have been identified by friends and family as three of the four fatalities
Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen did, though, say that McLeod had been on “law enforcement’s radar” prior to the shooting as the subject of investigations in 2020 and again in 2021, but was never charged with a crime.
Pazen declined to discuss the nature of the probes.
McLeod wrote and published fantasy books and lived in a converted shipping container while saying that one of his books was about “our masculinity and the way we interact” in religion, genetics and culture.
He tweeted in June 2020, that the book “philosophises with a Jack-Hammer”.
McLeod explained on YouTube: “I tend to look at the world in threes. I’ll look at the world currently, then the world below it and the world above it.
“You have the terrestrial plane, then the sub level, then the atmosphere.”
He added: “I consider myself an artist first, and then a man interested in ideas and culture second.”
McLeod died following an exchange of gunfire with a Lakewood police officer who, despite taking a bullet to the abdomen, was able to fire her weapon, fatally striking the gunman, police said.
Lakewood police spokesman John Romero declined to name the officer, a three-year veteran of the force, but called her actions “heroic”.
“She took a situation that was horrendous and put herself in harm’s way to stop it,” Romero said, adding that the officer underwent surgery and was expected to survive.
Police said the shooting began shortly after 5pm on Monday when McLeod entered a tattoo parlour near downtown Denver and opened fire, killing two women and critically wounding a man.
He then shot dead a man at a home in east Denver before firing at others on the city’s west side without hitting anyone.
Police said McLeod then got into a running gun battle with Denver police who were pursuing him.
He ultimately drove to Lakewood and entered another tattoo shop, where he fatally shot a man, then stormed into a hotel and shot the clerk, leading to his deadly encounter with the Lakewood officer.