UPDATE: Michael Swinyard, 67, was identified as the fifth victim of the Denver shooting spree alongside Danny Scofield, Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado, Alicia Cardenas, and hotel employee Sarah Steck. He was fatally shot in his apartment building on 201 N. Williams St. when the gunman rushed in on his way to Lakewood. The shooting occurred after the gunman attacked Sol Tribe Tattoo & Piercing in between shootouts with police.
Danny Scofield, Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado, and Alicia Cardenas, were all members of the tattoo community in Denver before a deadly shooting spree Monday night tragically ended their lives. In what is now considered a targeted attack, the suspect’s rampage is being investigated by authorities who believe the gunman may have had a distinct motive.
Sarah Steck, a hotel employee, and one more unnamed victim were also killed, along with the shooter, Lyndon James McLeod, 47, following a shootout with police. A known potential threat on Denver police’s radar, authorities now believe that “it does appear that the offender was targeting specific people in this case,” and that “the victims were known to the offender.” The investigation into what happened in Denver remains ongoing.
Alicia Cardenas, 44, was the owner of Sol Tribe Tattoo & Piercing at Broadway and 1st Avenue. Shot and killed around 5 p.m. in Denver, she was the gunman’s first victim when the seemingly targeted rampage began.
She was identified by her father, Alfredo Cardenas, who informed police that she was also survived by a 12-year-old child. A GoFundMe page set up for Alicia has already raised over $111,091, with all of the donations going toward supporting her family through this difficult time.
A tattoo shop owner and Indigenous rights activist, Alicia Cardenas was a “beacon of light for an enormous number of marginalized people,” her friend Aloria Weaver told ABC News.
Angel Macauley, another friend who owns Femme Fatale Intimates a few doors down the block from Sol Tribe Tattoo, said that she was “just such an impact on women, [and] the Native community,” adding that he hoped that “her art continues to live forever.”
Alicia Cardenas opened her tattoo shop when she was just 19 years old, according to her father, and then moved to the new location at Broadway and 1st Avenue where she worked for 15 to 20 years.
“She was a real leader in her community. A lot of people look to her for advice and information about tattooing and a lot about the hygiene of tattooing and she kind of pioneered that,” Alfredo Cardenas told ABC News. “But she had friends all over the world. She literally has gone all over the world, well, over over the oceans anyway, giving workshops on tattoo hygiene and that sort of stuff. She will be very sorely missed.”
Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado, 35, was also shot and killed at Sol Tribe Tattoo & Piercing alongside Alicia Cardenas. She was the wife of Jimmy Maldonado, another Sol Tribe Tattoo artist, who was shot and taken to the hospital where he is currently recovering in the intensive care unit. According to The Denver Channel, he expected to recover from his injuries.
In a GoFundMe page set up for the family, she was described as a member of the Denver tattoo and yoga community. Friends on the fundraising website remembered her as a “a teacher, mentor, and friend” who “had a profound impact on my yoga practice and teaching.”
She was also remembered by Hot Rod Piercing Co., who donated and stated that Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado would be appreciated for “everything [she] has done for the piercing community.”
According to the local Denver Fox News affiliate, she was also a stepmother to her husband Jimmy’s young son.
Danny Scofield, 38, was shot and killed at Lucky 13 Tattoo, a shop located on Kipling Street in Lakewood. According to Lakewood Police spokesman John Romero, the gunman fled to Kipling after an altercation with police, but his stop at another tattoo parlor indicates that the shooting may have been more targeted than authorities originally believed.
In a tribute on Instagram, Lucky 13 Tattoo described Danny Scofield as “an awesome human being, a great father, son and brother.”
“My deepest heartfelt sympathy and condolences to his daughter, his family and friends. Please keep them in your prayers,” wrote Joey Black, another Lucky 13 Tattoo artist. “My heart goes out to Alisha Cardenas and all at sol tribe and everyone who lost their lives and loved ones who were senselessly murdered for no f*****g reason.”
“He touched a lot of lives,” his ex-wife said, adding that the gunman “robbed us of a beautiful soul.”
Sarah Steck, 28, was a hotel clerk at the Hyatt Place hotel in Lakewood where a gun fight with police ended in the shooting suspect’s death. It is unknown if she was somehow connected to the other killings of tattoo shop owners and artists, or if the shooter simply panicked upon fleeing the police and entering the hotel.
The suspect reportedly shot the hotel clerk multiple times as he rushed into the building. She was later taken to the hospital where she died from her injuries.
Officers told KDVR News that it is possible that the shooter had issues with the hotel stemming from a prior incident.