DENVER (KDVR) — Police body camera video, witness videos, audio files and other documents from a shooting rampage that killed five people in December last year were released after the district attorney’s office announced that the Lakewood agents involved in the shooting were justified in their actions.
Lyndon James McLeod shot and wounded Lakewood Agent Ashley Ferris before she returned deadly fire, ending the Dec. 27 killing rampage that spanned across Denver and Lakewood.
The district attorney’s office said it reviewed more than 2,100 photographs and approximately 900 pages of reports in the investigation to determine if the use of force and deadly use of force were justified by the Lakewood agents involved in the confrontation between police and McLeod.
“After a thorough review and analysis of the evidence, I find that the Agents’ use of deadly physical
force was legally justified to defend themselves and others from the threat posed by Mr. McLeod.
Given my conclusion, no criminal charges will be filed against the Agents,” First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King said.
What happened the night of Dec. 27, 2021
McLeod began the shooting rampage in the Baker neighborhood of Denver and it ended around the Belmar shopping area when Ferris shot and killed him.
Michael Swinyard, 67, was killed in his home near 12th Avenue and Williams Street in McLeod’s second shooting.
According to a press release from the district attorney’s office, Denver police attempted to arrest McLeod after the three murders but he fled, which began a pursuit involving an exchange of gunfire between DPD officers and McLeod.
McLeod ended up at the Lucky 13 Tattoo Parlor located at 1550 Kipling St. in Lakewood where he shot and killed 38-year-old Danny “Dano” Scofield.
After he fled the tattoo shop, Lakewood agents spotted his van going eastbound on West Alameda Avenue and pulled him over into a Wells Fargo Bank parking lot. As soon as he exited the vehicle, he immediately shot eight to 10 rounds at Lakewood Agent Brianna Hagan with a long gun or rifle, the release said. Hagan returned fire with two shots, neither of which hit McLeod.
McLeod went into a busy Ted’s Montana Grill, where he was seen in a cell phone video obtained in the investigation of him pointing a gun at a female employee behind the bar and yelling and cursing at patrons inside the restaurant.
He proceeded to the Hyatt House Hotel, where he shot the front desk clerk, 28-year-old Sarah Steck who later died at the hospital.
McLeod opened fire on Ferris when she ordered him to drop his weapon around West Alaska Drive and South Vance Street. She was struck in the abdomen but was wearing a bulletproof vest. She returned fire, killing McLeod.
One witness told FOX31, “We seen (sic) the lady officer just yelled, ‘Put your gun down. Put your gun away!’ And we just seen the suspect pull his gun out and, literally, shoot her, in front of us and she was on the floor, she was on the ground. He turned and he kept shooting, almost shooting toward us, but my friend, backed up, just in time or we would have been shot, as well.”
Ferris spent 10 days in the hospital and underwent multiple surgeries to save her life but has been dubbed a hero for her actions in ending the shooting rampage. She has now returned to light duty in investigations.
McLeod’s interaction with Ferris before she shot and killed him
According to the press release, Ferris saw McLeod walking toward her with a black vest that had POLICE on it while loading handgun magazines. She realized he was not a Lakewood agent and asked him where he was coming from. He told her Wells Fargo and when she asked if he was armed security she couldn’t hear his response before she realized he fit the description of the armed shooter police were looking for.
Ferris then reached out with her left hand and said, “Don’t hurt other people, please.” The release said since she saw that McLeod had a handgun magazine in his left hand, Ferris said, “Don’t do this,” and began backing away from him.
The release said Ferris pulled her gun and tried to use her radio when McLeod pulled a gun out, pointed it directly at her and said, “I’ll show you what I’ll do.” She began to turn away when McLeod fired several shots at her, one striking her in the torso. As she was falling to the ground she returned fire at McLeod.
McLeod turned away from Ferris and while she was on the ground, she fired at least seven rounds at McLeod that delayed him but did not incapacitate him. Ferris reloaded her gun, and when McLeod moved in a motion to begin shooting again or reload his gun, Ferris shot at least another five rounds which ultimately killed him, the release said.
When the shooter hit Ferris in the abdomen, the bullet fragmented. She told FOX31 back in May that fragments hit her sciatic nerve and her right leg was subsequently paralyzed. However, the pain wasn’t the feeling she was focused on in those moments.
“I was angry honestly, I was angry,” Ferris said. “I was like, how dare he? How dare he do this? But all things considered, the best thing he could have done was display his weapon to me, because at that time, I didn’t see his weapon. I didn’t know who he was. He had police identifiers on. What if I had let him walk away? Instead, he made the choice to fire his gun at me, and he sealed his fate that way.”