DENVER — Friends and family of the victims are struggling to deal with the loss after a shooting spree in Denver and Lakewood ended with five people dead and two others injured.
Here's what we know about the victims:
- Alicia Cardenas, the owner of Sol Tribe tattoo shop, was killed
- Danny Scofield, "Dano Blair," who worked at Lucky 13 Tattoo & Piercing, was killed
- Sarah Steck, who worked at Hyatt House, was killed
- Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado, who worked at Sol Tribe, was killed
- Michael Swinyard, 67, was killed inside his home near Cheesman Park
- Jimmy Maldonado, who worked at Sol Tribe, was shot but is expected to survive, according to police
- Lakewood Police Agent Ashley Ferris, who was shot before she shot the gunman, according to police
Donations to support all of the victims can be made through the Colorado Healing Fund.
Alicia Cardenas, 44
Cardenas was shot around 5 p.m. at Sol Tribe, the tattoo shop she owned on Broadway in Denver.
"It's tremendous. It's difficult to really express how many people's lives she touched. She was a very outgoing person, she accepted everybody, especially those on the fringes," her father Alfredo Cardenas said. "A real advocate for the homeless, for the LGBTQ community – everybody you know was connected with her someway or another."
Her father said he is concerned about her 12-year-old child, saying they are "going to need a lot of love and compassion."
A friend described her as a warrior and advocate for all.
"She was an amazing mother, tattoo artist and an accredited body piercer," Samantha Lindstrom said. "Alicia never minded words and was never afraid to tell you what she thought or felt, but she always came from a place of love. We go back a very long time and she was family. Alicia was a beautiful woman inside and out. A loving wife, stepmother and yogi. Such a warm, caring being."
Another friend who met her through the art community called her a light to everyone she met.
"She was devoted to spirit and to our ancestors to everyone who met her," Cal Duran said. "She just wanted to bring knowledge and light."
Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado, 35
Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado and her husband Jimmy Maldonado were both shot at Sol Tribe, the Broadway tattoo shop where they worked, Maldonado's family told 9NEWS. Gunn-Maldonado was killed in the shooting, while Maldonado was injured but is expected to survive.
George Blosser is one of Jimmy Maldonado's customers. He has known him for 20 years. Blosser said Alyssa completed Jimmy.
"I knew that he had found some happiness in a way that eluded him before," Blosser said. "For Jimmy it was finding a life partner that shared that space, that shared that spiritual outlook and suddenly he had someone that was like, 'let’s do this journey together.'"
Jimmy Maldonado was injured in the shooting at Sol Tribe. Maldonado's brother told 9NEWS Wednesday that he is starting to improve physically, but is absolutely heartbroken over losing his wife.
Michael Swinyard, 67
Swinyard was killed inside his condo at One Cheesman Place in Denver. The gunman talked his way into the building and shot Swinyard after breaking into his unit, according to the building manager.
Danny Scofield, 38
Danny Scofield, or "Dano Blair," was a tattoo artist who worked at Lucky 13 Tattoo & Piercing in Lakewood.
"I can tell you he was as close to me as a brother, not only a good friend," one of Scofield's friends told 9NEWS. "He was a gentle giant loved by all – no enemies. He was clean and sober – no drugs or alcohol. He's a loving father, a beloved son and brother."
"This random act of violence has got us all broken-hearted," Scofield's friend said. "He worked for Lucky 13 for about two years before moving to Seattle, but came back to Denver and worked at another studio for a while. He has been back at Lucky 13 for two and a half, almost three years now. We are all devastated."
Friends and clients of Scofield stopped by Lucky 13 Tuesday afternoon to drop off flowers and candles.
“Danny was a good person," longtime friend Annie Bagford said. "He was a tattoo artist. He was a father. He was a friend. He was an uncle. Danny was a good human."
Friends said Scofield went to Kavasutra Kava Bar, a sober bar, frequently between appointments. Friends told 9NEWS Scofield was at the bar Monday night and only left for Lucky 13 because he had an appointment. According to friends, he usually worked alone on Mondays.
"Very supportive friend and so much fun," Cody McLaughlin said. "Made people laugh and smile. He was a guiding light for sure."
Sarah Steck, 28
Steck was working at the front desk of the Hyatt House hotel in Belmar when she was shot multiple times, according to Lakewood police.
“She was a really positive, like exuberant person," Peter Bergman said.
Bergman is an associate professor of communication design at MSU Denver. He said he was Steck's academic advisor before she graduated last spring with a degree in communication design.
“She really put a lot of her skills and talents towards projects that were kind of elevating voices of people who are misfits or outside of cultural norms," Bergman said.
Steck created a portfolio of graphic design work that made a professor like Bergman proud. He described Steck as fashionable, creative and cool.
“She was, like, a lot more hip than the average person," Bergman said. “I’ve been messaging a lot with a lot of the students she graduated with who all just really describe her in super positive terms and are really heartbroken by this tragedy.”
The hotel said they are temporarily suspending operations out of respect for Steck and to provide time for the hotel team to mourn.
"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," the hotel general manager said in a statement. "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."
Steck's boyfriend, Trevor Champeno, told 9NEWS on Thursday that she was a loving person.
"All you need to know is that Sarah was the most kind most caring. Most joyful person I’ve ever come in contact with my life. She loves music. Her favorites are Blink182, David Bowie, Johnny Cash and The Midnight," Champeno said. "She loved everything Disney. Her favorite was 'The Little Mermaid.' She could never hurt anyone and it makes no sense why anyone would harm her."
Lakewood Police Agent Ashley Ferris encountered the suspect in the area of Vance Street and Alaska Drive in Belmar after he fatally shot five people and exchanged gunfire with police in two separate locations.
According to the Lakewood Police Department, Ferris ordered the suspect to drop his weapon as he approached her, but he ignored her commands and shot her in the abdomen. The wounded officer returned fire on the suspect.
"I can't emphasize enough the heroic actions of our Lakewood Police agent," police spokesperson John Romero said Tuesday. "In the face of being shot, in the face of danger, she was able to not only save others from this terrible tragedy but also neutralize the threat."
Ferris is a three-year veteran of the department, Romero said. She remains hospitalized as of Wednesday night.
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