DENVER (CBS4) – The couple who purchased the former home of Lyndon McLeod, the man accused of a shooting spree this week, says their home was raided years ago by police who were investigating McLeod for an illegal marijuana grow operation. Gabriel Thorn said his home was swarmed by law enforcement just a matter of weeks after he purchased the property from McLeod.
Thorn said he briefly met McLeod five years ago when they were completing a walk-thru of the home they were going to purchase in southwest Denver.
"He was a really strange guy," Thorn told CBS4's Dillon Thomas. "He was this big, huge muscle-y guy."
Thorn said McLeod has a mysterious side to him during their brief interactions. McLeod said he and his wife always assumed Lyndon McLeod was not the 47-year-old's legal name.
While it was his legal name, Thorn was unaware McLeod was also an author with a pen name of "Roman McClay." He wrote several books which described a character, also named Lyndon McLeod, who goes on a killing spree through Colorado as a way to get back at those who have wronged him in the past.
On Monday, Dec. 27 police say the real McLeod went on a shooting spree through Denver and Lakewood, killing five and wounding two people. One of the wounded was a Lakewood police agent.
McLeod killed people he was associated with and also targeted properties which he had previous ties to.
"The cops showed up around 10:30 that night and they were asking if everyone was okay at my house, and then they asked for Lyndon McLeod," Thorn said.
Thorn said he was heartbroken to learn about what McLeod had done and was grateful that his family was sparred from the violence. Because McLeod had targeted places and people he was previously associated with, Thorn said he couldn't help but to wonder if the officers who killed the gunman ultimately saved his family too.
Thorn said McLeod left his former home in weird shape, taking note of the amount of animal skulls left behind as well of paintings of human skulls.
"There were just some weird things about the house when we moved in. There were animal skulls in the garage, there were skulls spray painted in random places in the house," Thorn said.
When Thorn purchased the home he was unaware of the hidden features of the property as well. When they moved in they found several gun safes hidden throughout the house in areas meant to be heavily disguised or unfindable when filled with everyday items.
Denver Police confirmed McLeod was "on their radar" during investigations in 2020 and 2021. However, Chief Paul Pazen said the investigations never met the standards of state or federal prosecution. The nature of those investigations was not released by police.
While Thorn said he was suspicious of McLeod from the start, he said he always assumed McLeod fled the country to avoid criminal prosecution.
"What he ended up doing was way worse than what we thought," Thorn said.
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