LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Lawmakers are calling for an investigation into previous police encounters with Lyndon McCleod, the presumed gunman in a string of shooting in Denver and Lakewood in on Dec. 27. Five people were killed and two others were injured, including a Lakewood police officer.
CBS Denver learned law enforcement was aware of McLeod and had investigated him twice in the past two years, but did not find reason to charge him.
On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) — along with Reps. Jason Crow (CO-06), Diana DeGette (CO-01) and Joe Neguse (CO-02) — sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting an investigation into the handling of prior law enforcement encounters with McLeod.
The letter reads, in part:
“In the days following this incident, multiple news outlets reported the gunman, Lyndon McLeod, foreshadowed his plan of violence in a series of books, often in shocking specificity such as using the locations and names of people he planned to target. It was also reported the gunman was on the radar of federal law enforcement for previous expressions of extremist views and a history of violent episodes. Additionally, the Denver Police Department investigated the gunman in 2020 and early 2021, but concluded there was not enough evidence to file charges.
“We have serious concerns regarding the sharing of information and the response of law enforcement officials and whether it was adequate, timely and thorough. The aforementioned reports are concerning, and we request your office conduct an investigation into whether law enforcement agencies were aware of the severity of the threats from the gunman, the actions taken in response to these threats including the closure of investigations, and whether information sharing among agencies was adequate. It is critical we understand who knew what information and when, and how this information was shared and acted upon in order to identify and close any gaps in the information sharing process among law enforcement.”
Police believe McLeod was targeting most of his victims.
Alicia Cardenas, 44, and Alyssa Gunn, 35, were shot and killed at Sol Tribe Tattoo at 1st and Broadway.
Michael Swinyard, 67, was shot to death in 1200 block of North Williams Street.
Danny Scofield was killed at Lucky13 Tattoo on Colfax Avenue and Kipling Street.
Sarah Steck, 28, was shot at the Hyatt House hotel in Lakewood and died later at the hospital.
McLeod left behind books, videos, podcasts and social media posts that provide insight into the kind of life he lived — and may have foretold the tragic crime spree.
The Denver Department of Public Safety responded with the following statement, “The Denver Department of Public Safety is conducting its own review of the January 2021 investigation into Lyndon McLeod, and will fully cooperate if the Department of Justice initiates an investigation.”