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Autopsy: Woman murdered in December rampage suffered gunshot wound to the head

Sarah Steck was working the front desk at a hotel when she was killed.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — A hotel clerk who was among five people killed in Denver and Lakewood in late December died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to an autopsy report made public Wednesday.

Sarah Steck, 28, was one of five people killed by Lyndon McCleod on Dec. 27.

McLeod died in an exchange of gunfire with a Lakewood police officer, who was wounded but survived.

>Video above: Former coworker says Denver crime spree suspect threatened him with gun a decade earlier

Steck was working at the front desk of the Hyatt House, 7310 W. Alaska Dr., when McLeod entered the hotel and shot her twice – once in the chest and once in the head.

The chest wound was survivable, according to the autopsy report.

McLeod wrote three dystopian novels in 2019 and 2020, one of which includes passages that included details – and two of his victims – of the series of attacks he carried out during an hour-long rampage that began in Denver and ended in Lakewood.

McLeod killed Alicia Cardenas, 44, and Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado, 35, and wounded Jimmy Maldonado, 44, at Sol Tribe Tattoo, 56 Broadway. Cardenas owned the business.

Then he fired into a building that contained a home and business, and lit a van on fire, in the 200 block of West Sixth Avenue. No one was injured there.

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McLeod killed Michael Swinyard, 67, in his apartment at 1201 Williams St., then drove to Lakewood, where he killed Danny Scofield, 38, at Lucky 13 Tattoo and Piercing, 1550 Kipling St., and then Steck.

McLeod shot and wounded Lakewood Police agent Ashley Ferris at the intersection of South Vance Street and West Alaska Drive – and she returned fire, killing him.

Contact 9Wants to Know investigator Kevin Vaughan with tips about this or any story: kevin.vaughan@9news.com or 303-871-1862.

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