Lakewood, CO – The heroic police officer who stopped an active shooter accused of killing five people and wounding two more has been identified as Lakewood Police Agent Ashley Ferris.
Agent Ferris, a three-year veteran of the department, was shot in the abdomen during the attack and remained hospitalized Wednesday, the Lakewood Police Department (LPD) confirmed in a press release.
She has already undergone one surgery and will likely need more, but was listed in stable condition Wednesday, KDVR reported.
“All of us at the Lakewood Police Department are incredibly proud of Agent Ferris and the bravery shown by her and her fellow law enforcement officers during this active shooter situation,” LPD Chief Dan McCasky said. “The entire Lakewood Police family will be here to support Agent Ferris and her family as she embarks on this recovery process.”
The series of attacks began near Broadway and First Avenue in central Denver shortly after 5 p.m. on Dec. 27, when 47-year-old Lyndon Mcleod opened fire on three people, killing two women and wounding a third male victim, KMGH reported.
The women killed were identified as Alicia Cardenas and Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado, according to KUSA.
The male victim, Jimmy Maldonado, is expected to survive his wounds, police said.
Mcleod then headed over to a residence that also houses a business in the area of West 6th Avenue and Bannock Street and barged inside, according to investigators.
Police said the suspect opened fire at that location, but that no one was injured, KUSA reported.
He also allegedly set a van ablaze in a nearby alley.
Mcleod fatally shot another victim inside a house near North Williams Street and East 12th Avenue at approximately 5:45 p.m.
The victim was later identified as 67-year-old Michael Swinyard, Colorado Hometown Weekly reported.
Police spotted a vehicle associated with the shootings as they were searching near Zuni Street and 8th Avenue, Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said during a press conference with the LPD Monday night, according to KMGH.
The suspect refused to stop, leading to a vehicle pursuit that ended at a dead-end road, KUSA reported.
Mcleod and police exchanged gunfire, and the suspect managed to disable the officer’s patrol vehicle in the process.
No one was injured during the shootout, KUSA reported.
The gunman escaped and took off down interstate 25 towards Lakewood.
LPD received a report of a shooting in the 1500-block of Kipling Street shortly before 6 p.m. and arrived to find a victim dead at the scene, LPD Public Information Officer John Romero told reporters.
Police identified the victim as 38-year-old Danny Scofield, according to the press release.
Investigators were able to obtain a description of the gunman’s vehicle and located it in the Belmar shopping area a short while later, KMGH reported.
The suspect opened fire on officers when they tried to approach him, leading to another exchange of gunfire, Officer Romero said.
He then ran into the shopping area and threatened others with the gun before entering the Hyatt House hotel, according to police.
Once inside, he fatally shot the hotel clerk, 28-year-old Sarah Steck, and took off on foot yet again, the LPD said.
“At several points during this situation, the suspect exchanged gunfire with Lakewood and Denver Police,” the LPD noted.
Mcleod headed to the area of Vance and Alaska on foot, where he was intercepted by Agent Ferris.
“Agent Ferris ordered him to drop his weapon as he approached her,” the LPD said. “The suspect ignored her commands and shot Agent Ferris, striking her in the abdomen.”
The wounded agent fell to the ground, but was still able to return fire, killing her attacker.
Mcleod was pronounced dead at the scene.
“If not for the heroic efforts of Agent Ferris and other law enforcement, this incredibly violent tragedy could have been even worse,” the LPD said. “Agent Ferris remains in a local hospital with her family by her side. Her family is asking for privacy during this time of healing.”
Chief McCasky offered his condolences to those impacted by the horrific killing spree.
“Our hearts are incredibly heavy with the loss of life and injuries suffered by others during this rampage,” he wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Cardenas, Gunn-Maldonado, Scofield, Steck and Swinyard families, as well as the families of those injured.”
Agent Ferris was honored with the LPD’s Lifesaving Award in 2020 for her role in helping save the life of a woman who was experiencing a medical emergency, KDVR reported.
Had Agent Ferris and her fellow officers “not responded quickly, with an accurate diagnosis and lifesaving measures, the woman would have likely died at the scene,” the LPD said at the time.
A fundraising campaign established to help Agent Ferris through her recovery has raised over $22,000 so far.