LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Loved ones and Coworkers of Sarah Steck, one of five people killed during a shooting spree that spanned Denver and Lakewood, described her as a kind and caring young woman with a promising art career.
Steck, 28, was working the front desk of the Hyatt House Hotel Monday evening when a gunman, identified by police as Lyndon McLeod, came into the lobby and shot her. She died at the hospital on Tuesday.
“She didn’t deserve this, she was just doing her job,” said Sharon Alvarez, a Lakewood resident who got to know Steck while staying at the hotel.
On Wednesday, a makeshift memorial for Steck continued to grow outside the hotel. Among those bringing flowers, candles, and signs were friends, coworkers, and community members.
According to Andra Alvarez, general manager of the hotel, Steck was known by coworkers and guests for her infectious laugh. The beloved front desk host also loved kittens, art, and music, especially the band Blink182.
“We will miss her terribly, and our hearts go out to Sarah’s family and friends as well as the families and friends of all the victims of the horrific act of violence that occurred on December 27, 2021,” Alvarez said in a statement.
Ashley LeFrance will remember Steck for much more. She said their friendship blossomed while they studied communication design together at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Steck graduated in May with a fine arts degree.
LeFrance said Steck wanted to illustrate and explore design. In the about page of her online portfolio, Steck said she had always been drawn to a “dark vintage design aesthetic.”
“She was still so young, and she had so much to really work through and discover for herself,” LeFrance said. “I just know that she wanted to push her art aesthetic and really find who she was as a designer.”
Outside of art, LeFrance said Steck loved Disney and tattoos, as well as going to shows with her partner. The two had just recently returned from a trip to Disneyland, she said.
LeFrance said she will remember Steck as a kind, caring person who was always honest with her critiques.
“I appreciate that I got to know her on a deeper level and I’m really grateful for that,” she said.
Out of respect for Steck, the Hyatt House Hotel will temporarily suspend operations. Staff members are assisting guests with relocation and are grateful for their understanding and flexibility, the GM said.
Fundraisers on Facebook and GoFundMe have raised thousands of dollars for Steck’s family since Tuesday.
The Tobacco Leaf in Lakewood also plans to host a fundraising event in honor of Steck on Jan. 8.