A gunman killed five people and wounded several others, including a police officer, Monday evening in a sprawling spree across the Denver metro area that included a car chase and gunfights with police, authorities said.
The suspect, who was shot and killed by police, was identified as Lyndon James McLeod, 47, Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said during a news conference Tuesday. Pazen said authorities believe McLeod targeted some of his victims but his motive is unclear.
Denver police previously investigated McLeod in 2020 and early 2021 but charges were never filed, Pazen said.
“This individual was on the radar of law enforcement,” said Pazen, who did not give further information on the previous investigations.
The gunman allegedly opened fire at multiple locations in the city and county of Denver, Pazen said late Monday at a news conference. There were more shooting locations in the suburb of Lakewood, about eight miles west of downtown Denver.
The rampage is among the latest of more than 675 mass shootings in the United States so far this year that left four or more people dead or injured, according to Gun Violence Archive.
The Denver-area shootings began just after 5 p.m. Monday when two women were killed and a man was injured at First Avenue and Broadway in the city’s busy South Broadway neighborhood, Pazen said. The injured man was taken to a local hospital and is in critical condition as of Tuesday, but is expected to survive, said Commander Matt Clark with Denver police.
Denver Police then received a call about a burglary nearby where Clark said the suspect was able to break into a building and shoot at people there, but they escaped uninjured.
A man was then shot and killed in his home several blocks away at 12th Avenue and Williams Street near Cheesman Park, Clark said.
Shots were also fired near the Denver Health Emergency Department by Sixth Avenue and Cherokee Street, with no injuries reported there, Pazen said Monday night.
Denver Police officers identified a vehicle — a black Ford — linked to this incident and chased it, leading to an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and officers, Pazen said.
“We believe the individual, after disabling the police car, fled into Lakewood,” he said.
Police in Lakewood then got a call of shots fired at the Lucky 13 Tattoo parlor on Kipling Street just before 6 p.m., Lakewood Police spokesman John Romero said during a news conference. Danny Schofield, 38, was pronounced dead at that scene.
The gunman then made his way to the Hyatt House Hotel in the Belmar Shopping Center where he allegedly shot Sarah Steck, a 28-year-old hotel worker, Romero said. Steck’s condition was unknown Monday night but police said Tuesday that she had passed away.
The suspect was confronted by an unnamed Lakewood police officer in the Belmar Shopping area and the two exchanged gunfire, police said. The officer was shot one time, but was able to compose herself and fatally shoot the suspect. The officer is expected to recover from her injuries, Romero said.
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