DENVER (KDVR) — A tipster in Germany says he warned Denver Police, the FBI and the U.S. Embassy a year ago about Lyndon McLeod, the gunman who went on a crime spree around Denver and Lakewood late last month, killing five people before a police officer killed him.
“Of course I was shocked and I felt so guilty,” Andre Thiele, a former book publisher, told FOX31 Thursday via Facetime from Germany.
Thiele met McLeod online in 2018, at first intrigued by the self-published novels McLeod wrote. But by January 2021, Thiele noticed alarming online posts by McLeod.
“He had always compared himself to Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. What (McLeod) was about was violence. Pure, unhindered, direct violence. He had told one woman that he owned a flamethrower and that he would take this flamethrower in Denver to a kindergarten,” Thiele told FOX31.
Thiele drafted an eight-page memo outlining his concern that McLeod was about to act on his violent thoughts, and maybe even commit a terrorist attack. He emailed the memo to Denver Police, the FBI and U.S. Embassy personnel in Frankfurt, Germany.
“I absolutely thought, at that time, January, that he was capable of doing that,” Thiele said.
A short time later, he got a response from a Denver Police detective, promising to look into the matter. The detective later thanked him and said he’d reach out if he had any further questions. That was the last time Thiele heard from anyone.
“Now that it was obvious that I had been right, I had been very precise about what he was going to do, of course, I felt bad. And I felt totally shocked for the victims. I wish (authorities) had seen it from my perspective, and they would have been able to prevent this,” Thiele said.
Denver Police confirm that they did receive that tip from a person in Germany last January but couldn’t link McLeod to a Denver address at the time and had no reason to believe he was living here.
A Denver Police investigator contacted the potential theft/fraud victim out of state and no Denver connection was established to the alleged crime. DPD said based on the initial review, there was not sufficient evidence to file criminal charges or a legal basis for monitoring McLeod at the time.