Who was Lyndon McLeod? Denver gunman, 47, lived in shipping container and wrote books
Former tattoo shop owner lived in a shipping container and had a history of psychiatric episodes say police, was the subject of two investigations
The gunman responsible for killing five people in Denver on December 27 has been identified as 47-year-old Lyndon McLeod. McLeod was shot and killed by police who responded to his rampage in the city, whose motive has not yet been ascertained. However, it could have something to do with his "history of extremist views and psychiatric episodes", as described by Paul Pazen, chief of Denver Police.
The deadly rampage saw McLeod target six locations across the city, eerily similar to the way Robert Aaron Long targeted massage parlors in Atlanta when he went on a killing spree back in March 2021. In that case, Long shot up several Asian massage parlors in what was initially believed to be a targeted hate crime. It was later revealed he had problems with sexual addiction, which played a role in the violence.
Unfortunately, while Long lived to detail a motive, police might find it harder to understand why McLeod chose to go on his rampage. However, there are some telltale signs based on his past, which indicate a strong love for guns and violence.
Who was Lyndon McLeod?
Before turning into a shooter, McLeod was an ordinary businessman. He reportedly owned Flat Black Ink, a tattoo parlor in Denver until 2017. Then, he closed shop and sold his home to move into a shipping container in the Colorado mountains. "He just disappeared off the face of the earth when we bought the house. My wife and I joke that he’s changed his name and moved out of the country," joked Gabriel Thorn, the man who bought McLeod's home.
Thorn was right, in a way. After moving, McLeod began writing books under the name Roman McClay. He published a series of books titled 'Sanction', modeling the main character on himself. Described as a book that "philosophizes with a Jack-Hammer", McLeod said that it talks about "our masculinity and the way we interact" in an interview. The shooter clearly loved guns, as Thorn discovered "numerous hidden gun safes in the walls of this house". He also had one hanging at his container home, again visible on Instagram. But to date, it appears that the love never turned deadly. Apart from a few traffic citations, it appears McLeod never had any criminal history. Pazen did note however that McLeod was the subject of two investigations in 2020 and 2021, but neither resulted in charges.
At the moment, police believe McLeod targeted his victims because they were all known to him. The police did not however detail the exact nature of the relationships. They also did not release any further information on McLeod's history of extremist views, so it is unclear if they had anything to do with his past investigations. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have now stepped in to take over the investigation, according to The Denver Channel.
According to 9News journalist Kyle Clark, McLeod never sold his business or formally closed it. Its status is listed as delinquent with state regulators since 2017. Clark went on to note that in the 'Sanction' series, the titular character goes on a shooting spree at a tattoo shop, similar to what McLeod did in real life.