by Debra Heine
A private security guard working for Denver TV station KUSA 9-News is facing first-degree murder charges after shooting a Trump supporter in the head during dueling right-wing and left-wing demonstrations in downtown Denver, Saturday.
The shooting victim has been identified as Lee Keltner, a 49-year-old U.S. Navy veteran who operated a hat-making business in the Denver area. Keltner died at a nearby hospital.
The shooter, Matthew Dolloff, 30, was reportedly not licensed to work as an armed private security guard in Denver, and has an extensive track record of far-left social media postings.
Dolloff and a 9-News producer were taken into custody in connection with the shooting, which took place during a pro-police “Patriot Rally” Saturday afternoon in Denver’s Civic Center Park. The producer, who works in the investigative unit, was later released, and is not a suspect.
Local leftists had organized a counterprotest under the guise of a “soup drive.”
Antifa/BLM agitators had reportedly thrown soup cans at the police during the rally.
Still photos taken by a Denver Post photographer show a confrontation between Dolloff and Keltner, with Dolloff appearing to shove Keltner.
Although Keltner was armed, he at no point can be seen reaching for his weapon. Keltner did slap Dolloff with an open hand, the photos show.
The next photos show Keltner backing up and Dolloff hatless, with sunglasses askew.
Keltner deployed his pepper spray as Dolloff drew a gun from his waistband and opened fire, shooting Keltner point blank in the head.
Video from the scene shows how quickly the shooting incident happened.
Two guns were found at the scene, as well as a Mace can, according to Police Division Chief Joe Montoya.
Police said they have surveillance footage of the incident, KUSA-TV reported.
Keltner’s son said that his father was not part of any right-wing groups.
“He was there to rally for the police department and he’d been down there before rallying for the police department,” said Johnathon Keltner.
Denver Police say Dolloff has no known ties to antifa, but a cursory scan of his social media shows him to be a left-wing radical who follows far-left accounts, including an antifa-related account.
On social media, Dolloff uses antifa-like language to express himself. For instance, he referred to President Trump as a “fascist dictator” on Facebook, Big League Politics found.
Additionally, on Dolloff’s Twitter, he argued for the Confederate flag to be treated in a manner akin to the Nazi swastika, Big League Politics found.
In 2016, the “security guard” bragged on Twitter about calling a complete stranger a racist because they were wearing a Trump button.
“Ran into a Trump supporter with a Trump Button on their shirt. Told them i like their im a racist button. They had nothing to say,” Dolloff wrote, with the hashtag #F-ckTrump.
KUSA claimed it had contracted Dolloff through the Pinkerton security firm, saying: “It has been the practice of 9NEWS for a number of months to hire private security to accompany staff at protests.”
Pinkerton however said it does not actually employ Dolloff, and refused to share the name of the company for which Dolloff worked.
Moreover, Dolloff does not appear to be properly licensed to be a security guard in Denver.
“Security guards in Denver are supposed to be licensed, with additional endorsements needed to carry a firearm or operate in plainclothes, according to rules for the industry adopted by the city in 2018,” the Denver Post reported.
The Post pointed out that “Dolloff did not appear to be in uniform,” and “his name does not show up on a city-run database that lists several thousand licensed security guards.”
Denver’s attorney’s office said it was investigating Dolloff’s employment history and additional charges may be filed.
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