Local Police Investigated Denver Shooting Spree Gunman Before Murders

Photo: CBS Denver / Youtube
Victims of Denver Shooting Spree Alicia Cardenas Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado Danny Scofield

Denver shooting spree suspect Lyndon McLeod, who killed 5 people and wounded many others on December 27th, 2021, before being killed by a police officer, was reportedly known to police before going on this rampage.

According to Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen, “This individual was on our radar, he was known to law enforcement… There were two previous investigations into this individual’s actions, neither of those investigations resulted in state or federal criminal charges.”

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The shooting spree began when McLeod shot and killed two women in the Sol Tribe Tattoo and injured a man. McLeod then entered two separate Denver residences, at the second residence, he found and killed another victim.

After McLeod left the last private residence, he got into a shootout with police before escaping. McLeod then made his way to Lucky 13 Tattoo where he killed another man.

Finally, police caught up with McLeod again when he killed another woman and shot an unnamed female police officer. The injured police officer managed to return fire after being shot, striking McLeod and ending the threat.

McLeod died on the scene.

Several red flags preceded McLeod's shooting spree.

The gunman published three books with plots eerily similar to his own killing spree.

Journalist Ryan Clark tweeted that the gunman wrote "a three-book series of what could be described as alpha male sci fi, published from 2018-2020, celebrating brutal violence against the characters' perceived enemies and graphic sexual assaults."

In these books, a character also named Lyndon "shoots and kills people at a tattoo shop on 6th Avenue."

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It appears McLeod had some connection with his victims.

It seems as though the subject of McLeod’s writing manifested in real life when McLeod armed himself and went on a targeted shooting spree against several people who are believed to have had connections to McLeod in the past.

McLeod once owned a tattoo parlor in the area, though it had reportedly fallen "into delinquent status," according to Kyle Clark.

Police believe McLeod specifically sought out tattoo shops when going after his victims.

“Based on what we know, it does appear that the offender was targeting specific people in this case," Matt Clark, the commander of Denver police’s major crimes division, said. "The victims were known to the offender.”

Police investigated McLeod between 2020-2021.

There is a lot of speculation as to McLeod’s motives and history, but police have said that the suspect was on their radar and that they had had several run-ins with him leading up to Monday, December 27th, though police have not shared details about those previous investigations. 

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While charges were never filed against him, police said the previous investigations “will be part of this ongoing investigation into this violent crime spree that took place.”

It isn’t particularly surprising that McLeod was known to law enforcement being that he allegedly ran several social media accounts and authored several books that contained some red flags about McLeod’s beliefs and beliefs about violence.

In reference to his book, McLeod reportedly tweeted in Spring of 2020, “Our entire society is made up of s—y little f—ks who insult badasses & get away with it because law enforcement & social norms protect the WEAK from the STRONG. I’m over it… The weak better buckle up... s—t is about to get real.”

According to readers, McLeod’s books were similarly threatening in tone and featured a main character that shared Lyndon McLeod’s name who goes on to commit dozens of murders.

It remains to be seen exactly what motivated the shooting spree, but what is known is that five innocent victims had their lives cut short and two more were injured by a man that was on the police’s radar, had extremist beliefs, and managed to acquire a firearm.

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Dan O'Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics, and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.