Alicia Cardenas and Daniel Schofield were named by loved ones as three of the five deceased victims of the Denver and Lakewood shooter. They were well-known tattoo artists, and their deaths have left that community reeling and heartbroken.
Schofield went by the name Dano Blair on Facebook.
Cardenas and the third victim, Alyssa Maldonado, were affiliated with Sol Tribe Custom Tattoo and Body Piercing in Denver; Cardenas owned the business and Maldonado’s husband, Jimmy Maldonado, was a body piercer there. Jimmy Maldonado was shot but survived. You can read about the Maldonados here.
“I’m at a loss. My head hurts, my heart hurts. We lost a great one yesterday. I woke up in the middle of the night and checked my phone hoping that it was just a nightmare. It wasn’t. Alicia Cardenas was one of the wisest, most caring, and talented individuals I have ever met. I’m just speechless. I didn’t even want to post this because it makes it feel more real,” wrote Patrick Anderson on Facebook.
The morning of the shooting, Sol Tribe, which is based in Denver, wrote on its Facebook page, “We’re baaaaaaaack! And ready to make your tattoo dreams come true! Give us a call and let’s get your dermis enhanced.” Schofield was affiliated with Lucky 13 Tattoo & Piercing in Lakewood, according to his Facebook page. The fourth victim has not been identified. The fifth victim was a hotel clerk named Sarah Steck.
“Waking up to a message from my brother/friend Jimmy Maldonado family I knew it wasn’t good,” wrote Ernest Burbank on Facebook. “It’s hard to even believe it’s real, I reread the message hoping it was a mistake or the wrong number but it’s all real and so painful to accept. A shooter came to Sol Tribe Custom Tattoo and Body Piercing and began his shooting spree, my beautiful and ceremonial sister Alyssa Gunn Maldonado was shot and murdered along with my friend/tattooing sister Alicia Cardenas owner of sol tribe. Jimmy is currently in the hospital so please keep him in recovery prayers and please give your prayers of comfort for our sisters and their families. I just don’t understand how so much hate can live in people and how the innocent always pay the price. Please tell your friends and family you love them……”
Schofield filled his Facebook page with examples of his artwork. “I feel sick. The Denver tattoo community got hit very hard last night. Dano Blair you did not deserve this, I’m so sorry. I don’t even know what else to say right now. We gotta stick together,” wrote Jordan Jasinski.
Police, in a news briefing, described a chaotic sequence of events in which victims were shot and killed in Denver and then in nearby Lakewood, Colorado, by a single gunman. The shooter’s name is Lyndon McLeod; his motive is not clear, but he did know the victims and once owned a failed tattoo parlor. A Lakewood police officer was also injured.
Here’s what you need to know about Cardenas and Schofield:
Tributes flowed for Cardenas. “Rest in power Alicia Cardenas. You were a force of nature, a strong voice for your communities, a mentor and friend to so many. I mourn you and I mourn all the art you still had left to create, all the energy you still had to share with the world. You made an impact and your loss cuts deep,” wrote Michelle Baldwin.
According to Sol Tribe Tattoo and Piercing, “Alicia Cardenas is a true Denver Native—a proud Indigenous artist born and raised in the city who’s been working in the Denver body modification industry for nearly her entire life. She began working and apprenticing at Bound By Design in 1994 at the age of 16 and began piercing there professionally a year later. In 1997, she opened her first shop, Twisted Sol—Denver’s first custom tattoo and professional body piercing studio. She began her journey as a tattooer—in addition to her already extensive knowledge of body modification—in 2008, and in 2009, after twelve glorious years at Twisted Sol’s Cap Hill location, she and longtime shop manager Kevin Strawbridge moved down to Broadway to open Sol Tribe.”
Jesse Villemaire wrote on Facebook, “The world just lost an strong and incredible woman due to a senseless, deadly shooting spree in Denver Colorado that took the lives of four people and injured many others. One of the victims is someone that has been a powerful voice in the body art/piercing community for so many years. I’m so grateful to have known Alicia and how our deep conversations we’ve had together will never be forgotten. R.I.P. Alicia, you were truly one of a kind. ❤️”
On Facebook, Cardenas described herself as “Boss Lady at Sol Tribe Custom Tattoo and Body Piercing,” and a tattoo artist who “Association of Professional Piercers.”
Jennifer Foreman wrote on Facebook, “My heart is completely ripped out of my chest! I met Alicia Cardenas the first month I moved here 22 years ago. She immediately welcomed me with open arms and without judgement! Friends for all these years! RIP 💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔 My heart goes out to Sol Tribe & our entire tattoo community!”
John Joyce wrote, “This morning a lot of people are waking up to find a beautiful soul, a friend, a peer, an artist, a mother, a teacher, a leader, and so much more has been taken from them. There is a hole in the piercing industry today, a hole in the Denver community, and a hole in the world, where Alicia Cardenas filled and touched so many.Im just waking up and haven’t even begun processing this. You were a powerful person Alicia, who touched so many in and out of this industry, and in your community. I’ll never forget speaking with you after one of the classes I taught. Shocked that you were asking me questions, while I sat there in awe wondering what I could possibly teach you. Thank you ❤”
Daniel Schofield (Dano Blair)
Amanda Weber wrote on Facebook, “Our hearts are broken, we lost a very dear friend, The kindest soul to senseless violence. Dano Blair you will forever be loved by all of us. I miss you so much already.. we all will celebrate your bright light every day moving on. From here on out, everything we do is for Dano 🧡🖤🧡🖤 — feeling heartbroken.”
“Last night we lost a light. It was taken from the world. But we will never forget it’s radiance. We will never forget you Dano Blair,” wrote Derek Conrad.
Juliet Hershberger wrote on Facebook: “This isn’t what I thought i’d wake up to. Dano Blair. words can’t even fathom how shocking and harmful receiving this news was. we were literally just talking about me coming down and getting a touch up from you. From the tattoos, to Kava, to concerts, drag queens, etc. you were an amazing person and an artist. i’ll have a piece of you with me for the rest of my life. I hope you’re at peace now 🕊😔”
Jeannette Wills wrote, “This was hard news to wake up to this morning. My heart goes out to everyone in Colorado right now, especially to the family of Dano Blair ❤️ he was such a gentle soul and I have so many fond memories of him! The hardest part of life is not knowing how much time we have left with the ones we love, so hold each other tight and don’t take time for granted.”
Jessica Hamilton wrote, “Dano Blair I can’t believe this. Hearing the news last night I’m just now being able to process it all. You will be so missed. So glad I got to see you yesterday and give you a big hug as always. You were the kindest man and always supported everyone and would do anything for anyone. Love you so much and will miss you forever. It’s not fair.”
On Facebook, Blair indicated that he was a tattoo artist. His top post reads, “It’s that time of year again! October is right around the corner. I will be doing my annual October promotion! Half off horror portraits all October! This is a appointment only promotion, all appointments require a minimum of $50 deposit. Spots will fill up quick! Let’s have some fun guys!! (Please share and spread the love) love y’all!!” He showcased his artwork on his Facebook page.