The man who shot and killed five people in Denver on Monday night has been identified as Lyndon McLeod, 47, a tattoo shop owner who harbored extremist views and had a history of psychiatric episodes. McLeod, was shot and killed by police on Monday night at the end of his rampage that spanned across his tattoo parlor and multiple other locations in the Mile High City.
Interestingly all the victims were known to McLeod. His rampage targeted several tattoo shops, and three of his five victims worked in the tattoo industry. However, police are yet to say anything about the motive behind the horrifying shootings.
It is not known what was going on in McLeod's mind when he decided to go on a shooting spree but according to reports he had history of psychiatric episodes. McLeod also subscribed to extremist views, law enforcement sources told ABC News.
McLeod used to own a tattoo business, Flat Black Ink, until 2017, according to reports. It is not known why he closed down his business but most of his targets were associated with tattoos. Three of them worked in the tattoo industry. Moreover, it is believed that he knew all the targets.
Paul Pazen, chief of Denver Police, said on Tuesday that McLeod had been on the radar of law enforcement during two recent investigations - one in 2020 and another in 2021 - but neither resulted in charges.
McLeod had a complicated life and was a recluse. On Monday, he fired at least six rounds at six different locations Denver and the nearby suburb of Lakewood. The rampage began at about 5 pm at Sol Tribe Tattoo and Piercing in Denver where McLeod first gunned down Alicia Cardenas, 44, and Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado, KDVR reported. A man was also wounded at the first scene.
He then went to other location killing another three before he was shot dead by cops.
History of Psychiatric Issues
McLeod ran his tattoo parlor until 2017 and suddenly sold it off. The same year he also sold off his house. Gabriel Thorn, the man who bought the house said the property was full of gun safes when he entered.
"There were numerous hidden gun safes in the walls of this house," said Thorn, speaking to KDVR. And then McLeod just disappeared. "He just disappeared off the face of the earth when we bought the house. My wife and I joke that he's changed his name and moved out of the country."
Sometime later, he reappeared, this time to publicize his books. During the time of his disappearance McLeod reportedly had written and published a series of books called 'Sanction' under the name Roman McClay, according to KDVR.
The main character of the book was based on him, and the narrator was the artificial intelligence. While promoting his book, McLeod during an interview had said that he had been living in a converted storage container, and said the book was about "our masculinity and the way we interact," looking at religion, genetics and culture.
He described it on Twitter, in an account dormant since June 2020, as: "The book that philosophizes with a Jack-Hammer."
"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," he said in a YouTube interview in March 2020, to promote the book.
During Monday night's rampage, McLeod allegedly also shot and wounded a Lakewood police officer, authorities said. The wounded officer, whose name has not been released, underwent surgery Monday night. She is expected to make a full recovery.
However, police is yet to reveal the actual motive behind the shooting.