LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — A hotel employee who was shot and killed by a deadly shooting spree gunman at the Hyatt House in Lakewood has been identified as 28-year-old Sarah Steck.

The gunman, identified as Lyndon McLeod, walked into the Hyatt House and shot Steck several times. She was taken to the hospital and later died.

Steck becomes the fifth victim in the series of shootings that began in Denver and ended in Lakewood. A Lakewood officer shot and killed McLeod after he shot her near the Belmar shopping center. Romero said the officer is in stable condition after undergoing surgery.

She had recently graduated from Metropolitan State University Denver with a bachelor of fine arts degree. As part of her graduation requirements, she published a thesis titled “Politics Are Visual.”

MSU sent out a letter about Steck’s death. It said, in part:

It is with a heavy heart that I reach out to you during this winter break. As the news that the terrible shootings that occurred in Denver and Lakewood on Monday, December 27 has unfolded, it was sad enough to learn that the victims of this senseless crime were members of our creative community. It was even more devastating to learn yesterday that one of these creatives was a recent alum. Sarah Steck graduated in Spring, 2021 with a B.F.A. in Communication Design and was a beloved member of our department and of her academic cohort. She has been described in the news as the Lakewood hotel clerk who perished in the shooting spree, but she was much more than that to us and to her family and friends. Faculty in the Communication Design program describe her as “a super hip lady” who loved punk rock, was sweet and had a strength of character.  Sarah described her mission “to create custom alternative designs for the strange and unusual who aren’t afraid to be who they are” inspired by vintage gothic styles interpreted through her own modern aesthetic. 

Metropolitan State University Denver

Hyatt House general manager Andra Alvarez released the following statement:

We are devastated by the sudden and tragic loss of our dear friend and colleague, Sarah Steck, a front desk host at Hyatt House Denver/Lakewood at Belmar. Colleagues and guests knew Sarah for her infectious laugh and her love of kittens, art and music – especially Blink-182. But most of all, Sarah loved her boyfriend, family and friends. We will miss her terribly, and our hearts go out to Sarah’s family and friends as well as the families and friends of all the victims of the horrific act of violence that occurred on December 27, 2021.

Hyatt House Denver/Lakewood at Belmar will temporarily suspend operations out of respect for Sarah and to provide time for the hotel team to mourn. We are assisting current and upcoming guests with relocation and are grateful for their understanding and flexibility. The hotel continues to work closely with local authorities, and we ask that any additional inquiries regarding this matter be directed to the Lakewood Police Department.  

A GoFundMe has been set up by a close friend to help Sarah’s family.

Another family friend is hosting a fundraiser on Jan. 8 in Lakewood. Learn more here.