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Denver and Lakewood communities mourn after five killed in shootings

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Growing memorial outside Sol Tribe Custom Tattoo and Body Piercing
Photo: Kyle Cooke

How to support victims' loved ones

In the days since the tragic shootings that killed five beloved community members, many friends are searching for ways to support the families of those who died. 

To support all of the victims, the Colorado Healing Fund has activated a fund for them. These funds go directly to the families of those who died, the survivors, and the greater impacted community. A fund was set up earlier in 2021 for the same purposed following the deadly shooting at Boulder King Soopers. 

If you want to donate to the Colorado Healing Fund, you can follow this link. Checks and in-person donations will be accepted at Colorado-based FirstBank locations. Donors should make checks out to "Colorado Healing Fund" and write "Denver-Lakewood" in the memo. When depositing the check with bank tellers, designate donations for the Colorado Healing Fund's victim account.

In some cases individual GoFundMe accounts have been started for their families. You can find those links below. 


Mental health resources 

Many members of our communities were impacted by these shootings, and there is help out there. 

The Lakewood Police Department has set up a resource center for Thursday, Dec. 30 and Friday Dec. 31. It's located across from the Hyatt House in Belmar. The building says "Core Cycling and Wellness" on it and the address is 7349 W. Alaska Dr. in Lakewood. The center will be open Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. There are trauma resources and mental health therapist available to the public. The department says no one will be turned away. 

These mental health resources are available 24/7:

Colorado Crisis Services: Call 1-844-493-8255 or text TALK to 38255

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255 or you can also chat with the Lifeline.

Details of the tragedy 

DENVER — Notes of sadness, loss, love, and devastation covered social media following the shooting deaths of five people Monday, December 27 in Denver and Lakewood. Another man and a Lakewood police officer were also hurt in the attack. The injured officer shot and killed the suspect in an exchange of gunfire, officials announced.

The shootings started in Denver shortly after 5 p.m. Monday along Broadway near 1st Avenue. Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said that is where two women were killed and a man was injured. 

On Tuesday afternoon, candles and flower bouquets rested in the doorway of Sol Tribe Custom Tattoo and Body Piercing. Owner of the shop, 44-year-old Alicia Cardenas, was one of the victims of the shooting. A GoFundMe has been set up in her name to help support Cardenas' family and 12-year-old child. 

Memorial outside Sol Tribe Custom Tattoos and Piercings
Photo: Clarissa Guy
Memorial outside Sol Tribe Custom Tattoos and Piercings
Photo: Clarissa Guy

Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado, 35, was the other woman fatally shot at Sol Tribe Tattoo and is survived by her husband Jimmy, who was also shot is fighting for his life in the ICU. A GoFundMe page has also been set up for the Gunn and Maldonado family.

The fundraiser reads, "The Denver tattoo & yoga community lost an incredible friend and teacher in a tragic incident last night ... This fundraiser is to provide care for any unmet needs of the Gunn & Maldonado families."

Both GoFundMe fundraisers have already raised more than $100,000 each.

Sol Tribe Custom Tattoo and Piercing posted on social media on Tuesday saying in part, "We’re hurting badly. We feel your love through our sadness. Please be patient with us as we navigate."

In just a matter of minutes, dozens of notes of support filled the comments section of the post.

After the shooting at the tattoo shop, police said the suspect went into a building that operates as a business and a home near 6th Avenue and Bannock Street and fired shots. No one was hurt there, but Clark said the suspect set fire to van just outside the building. 

Clark said the suspect then went into a home in the 1200 block of Williams Street near Cheesman Park and shot and killed Michael Swinyard, 67, there.  

Later, Denver police chased the vehicle believed to have been involved in the shootings and the person inside the vehicle exchanged gunfire with police. Clark said the suspect's shots "disabled" the police car and the suspect was able to get away and drive to Lakewood. No officers were hurt in that incident. 

Just before 6 p.m., the Lakewood Police Department received a report of shots fired at a business in the 1500 block of Kipling Street, said John Romero, a spokesman for that department. Romero said a victim was later found and pronounced dead at the scene. On Tuesday, the victim was identified as as 38-year-old Danny Scofield. 

Lucky 13 Tattoo and Piercing at 1550 Kipling Street in Lakewood shared a post on social media Tuesday saying in part, "Rest easy brother Dano Blair I will always love you" and shared some photos of Schofield, including the ones below. 

Photo: Lucky 13 Tattoo
Photo: Lucky 13 Tattoo

When officers found the suspect's car in the Belmar shopping area, the suspect opened fire and officers shot back. The suspect ran away and allegedly threatened someone in a business with a gun before going into a Hyatt House hotel and shooting a clerk, identified as 28-year-old Sarah Steck. 

Steck later died at the hospital, Romero said. 

The suspect then encountered Lakewood police officer Ashley Ferris and shot her near Alaska Drive and Vance Street. Ferris was able to return fire, killing him. As of December 29, Ferris remains hospitalized “with her family by her side,” Lakewood Police said. The department also wrote in its release, "If not for the heroic efforts of Agent Ferris and other law enforcement, this incredibly violent tragedy could have been even worse." 

Lakewood police agent Ashley Ferris
Lakewood Police
Lakewood police agent Ashley Ferris
Lakewood Police

Romero said the suspect was 47-year-old Lyndon James McLeod. Denver and Lakewood police say all of the people he shot were targeted for personal reasons or, in the case of Steck, a personal problem with the hotel. 

Officials added that McLeod was known to law enforcement officers and was the subject of two previous investigations, one in 2020 and another in early 2021. However, no charges were filed in those cases. 

Romero called the actions of the Lakewood officer heroic and said she has undergone one surgery and will need more, but is doing okay now. 

As the investigation continues, the Denver and Lakewood communities are mourning the losses and attacks in shopping areas. 

Just two doors down from the Sol Tribe Tattoo on Broadway is Hope Tank, a shop that has been selling gifts and highlighting local nonprofits for almost a decade. Hope Tank posted on social media Tuesday and said it was closed for the day after the shooting.

Many people on social media shared their thoughts and offering their support to those affected by the shooting. That includes local lawmakers like Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and State Representative Leslie Herod (D-Denver).

Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul also offered his thoughts Monday night about the shooting.

This is a developing story and will continue to be updated. 

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