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Denver's tattoo community mourns loss of two women killed in Denver-Lakewood mass shooting

Mourners at vigil for Alicia Cardenas and Alyssa Maldonado outside of Sol Tribe Tattoo and Piercing
Posted at 10:05 PM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 00:35:24-05

DENVER — Candles spill out of the threshold and onto the sidewalk at Sol Tribe Tattoo and Piercing. They are for Alicia Cardenas and Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado, who were killed by a gunman in Monday's shooting rampage.

Five people were killed in the mass shooting, while two more are still in the hospital. Cardenas and Gunn-Maldonado were the first two people killed in the string of shootings.

Family and friends are in disbelief that two lively and creative people are now gone.

"My heart broken, our hearts were broken," said Laura Naranjo, a friend of Alicia Cardenas. "It can't be put in words what she's contributed to this community."

Alicia Cardenas had been a tattoo artist in Denver since 1994. She started her first tattoo parlor in 1997. Her focus was on creating art and spaces in Denver that were welcoming and accepting of Denver's diverse and growing population.

Mourners called Cardenas a trailblazer for indigenous women in Denver.

"She believed in women, to believe in each individual human as a human just purely in who they were," said Krisha Jeannoutot, another friend of Alicia Cardenas. "She really made an impact on piercing professionally and even globally."

The family of Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado also gathered at the memorial to pray. She was a tattoo artist at Sol Tribe Tattoo and Piercing.

A GoFundMe for Gunn-Maldonado described her as an incredible teacher and friend.

Gunn-Maldonado's husband was also shot during Monday's rampage. He is still in the hospital recovering.

If you would like to help the victims in the Denver-Lakewood mass shooting, click here.