DENVER — The man who police say killed five people in a shooting spree across Denver and Lakewood Monday was dressed as a police officer when he forced himself into a Cheesman Park condo and killed one of his victims, the building manager said.
Michael Swinyard, 67, was the third person killed in the Monday evening shooting spree. The suspect shot and killed five people in four different locations before he was killed by a Lakewood Police agent, authorities said. Two other people, including the agent, were injured in the shooting spree.
Swinyard was killed inside his condo at One Cheesman Place, just north of Cheesman Park in Denver. According to a letter from the building manager to residents, the suspect was impersonating a police officer by wearing tactical gear with a police logo and badge. He was carrying a rifle when he entered the building lobby.
The building security guard cooperated with the shooter's demands and escorted him to Swinyard's floor, according to the letter. The building manager said her cooperation is "likely what kept her alive."
The shooter then forced himself into the condo and shot Swinyard. The guard escaped to another unit and called 911, and the shooter forced his way out of the locked lobby, the building manager said.
"I heard what appeared to be three gunshots coming from across the street," Travis Leiker, president of Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, said.
His neighborhood organization office is right next door to the condo building.
"What's equally concerning is the fact that this seemed to be premeditated," Leiker said.
He used the term "premeditated" because of books published by the shooter.
One of them, from 2018, describes in detail how he would get into a Cheesman Park condo to kill Swinyard and others. The book mentions Swinyard by name.
"I'd like to know why somebody, who had documented writings and cited specific properties and specific people in the city, that we were not made aware of that," Leiker said. "It's deeply troubling to know that this was under a gunman's surveillance for the better part of two years and we didn't know about it."
On Tuesday, Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said repeatedly that the shooter was on the department's radar at two different times in the last two years.
Sources tell 9Wants To Know that someone in law enforcement knew about the writings in the books. However, they did not say if it was someone within the Denver Police Department or the FBI or another agency.
Records show Denver police never sought an extreme risk protection order, also known as a red flag request, against the suspect. These orders ask a judge to deem someone a danger in order to get weapons removed from their possession.
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