The gunman who killed five people and left others injured in the Denver area this week was apparently "targeting specific people" and knew the victims, police say.
Five people were killed on Monday in a shooting spree in Denver and Lakewood, Colorado, and officials have identified the suspect, who died in a shootout with police, as 47-year-old Lyndon James McLeod. "Based on what we know, it does appear that the offender was targeting specific people in this case," Matt Clark of the Denver police said, as reported by The Guardian. "The victims were known to the offender. ... There were prior relationships, either personal relationships [or] business relationships that were involved."
Officials also said that McLeod was "on the radar of law enforcement" and had previously been investigated, but not charged, in 2020 and in early 2021.
The gunman reportedly killed five people in several locations, including a tattoo shop and a hotel, CNN reports. According to The Associated Press, four of the victims were attacked at tattoo shops, and ABC News reports McLeod formerly owned a Denver tattoo business. He also shot a hotel clerk, and Clark said "there may have been some issue with the hotel," though "not necessarily the specific person."
Law enforcement officials told ABC News that the suspect allegedly "harbored extremist views and had a history of psychiatric episodes," and officials are reportedly investigating his writings. According to 9 News, McLeod self-published a series of books containing violent imagery, one of which describes a shooting at a tattoo shop. A motive has not been identified.