Tattoo studies targeted in deadly shootings in Colorado

Four people shot during a deadly riot in Denver were attacked in tattoo parlors, raising questions about why they were attacked.

Colorado police say Lyndon James McLeod, 47, knew most of the people he shot on Monday, several places around the subway area, through business or personal circumstances.

They were still investigating his motive.

Police tape is wrapped around a pole to block the sidewalk of a pizzeria near one of the scenes during the shooting. (David Zalubowski / AP)

Five people were fatally shot in less than an hour and two others were injured, including a police officer who shot and killed McLeod after being hit.

McLeod once owned a company in Denver called Flat Black Ink Corp. at an address that is now World Tattoo Studio, according to records from the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

A man picking up the phone at World Tattoo Studio hung up after being asked about McLeod Tuesday night.

The first shooting took place in another tattoo shop less than a mile (1.6 kilometers) from that address.

Matt Clark, head of the Denver Police Department’s Major Crimes Division, said Tuesday that the gunman did not know the last person he shot – a clerk at a hotel in Lakewood’s Belmar shopping area. Sarah Steck, 28, who died of her injuries Tuesday.

But McLeod had had some contacts with the hotel, Commander Clark said.

Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said during a news conference that McLeod was on the radar of law enforcement and had been investigated in both 2020 and 2021. He declined to say what McLeod was being investigated for, but said no charges were filed against him. .

The shooting started around 5:30 p.m. local time in central Denver along Broadway, a busy street of shops, bars and restaurants in which two people were killed by Sol Tribe Tattoo & Piercing.

Mourners gather outside the door of a tattoo parlor along South Broadway in Denver, one of the scenes in a shooting that left six people dead. (David Zalubowski / AP)

Authorities identified them yesterday as the tattoo shop owner, Alicia Cardenas, 44, and another woman, Alyssa Gunn, 35.

A man was also injured but is expected to survive, police said. He was identified by friends and customers as Mrs. Gunn’s husband, James Maldonado, a piercer in the store.

Shortly afterwards, McLeod forced himself into a nearby home that also housed a business. He chased residents through the building and fired shots, but no one was injured, Commander Clark said.

Then a man was shot and killed in a home near Denver’s Cheesman Park, Commander Clark said. He was identified yesterday as Michael Swinyard, 67.

Denver police later chased the vehicle believed to have been involved in the shootings and an officer exchanged shots with McLeod, Commander Clark said.

McLeod was able to escape and fled into Lakewood, after shots disabled the officer’s crosses, he said.

Just before 6 p.m., the Lakewood Police Department received a report of shots fired at the Lucky 13 tattoo shop. Danny Scofield, 38, was killed there, Lakewood police spokesman John Romero said.

A police vehicle passes through the intersection of Alaska Drive and Vance Street in Lakewood, Colorado, near one of the scenes during the shooting. (David Zalubowski / AP)

When officers spotted the car suspected of being involved in the shooting in the Belmar shopping area – where shops along sidewalks in a modern version of a downtown – McLeod opened fire, officers fired back, Romero said.

He ran away and allegedly threatened some people at a restaurant with a gun before going to the Hyatt House hotel, where he spoke briefly with Mrs. Steck, the clerk, before shooting her, he said.

About a minute later, a Lakewood police officer saw McLeod and ordered him to drop his weapon. She was shot in the stomach but shot back at him, Romero said.

The wounded officer, whose name has not been released, underwent surgery Monday night. She is expected to recover completely.

On Tuesday, candles, flower bouquets and some containers of fruit rested on the door of Mrs Cardenas’ tattoo shop as people, including her fiancĂ©, Daniel Clelland, came by to commemorate a woman they said cared for so many.

“I do not know why anyone would do this,” Mr Clelland said.

A customer walks away from the closed entrance to an Xfinity store in Lakewood, Colorado, one of the scenes in a shooting that spread from the heart of Denver to the western suburb of Lakewood, where the suspect was shot and killed by the police. (David Zalubowski / AP)

Mrs Cardenas’ father, Alfredo Cardenas, told KMGH-TV that his only daughter owned her first tattoo shop when she was 19 and had worked at the Broadway site for 15 to 20 years.

Mrs Cardenas is survived by her 12-year-old, Alfredo Cardenas said.

“Very sociable, very kind, but she was a very determined person,” he said. “She knew where she was going.”

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