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Private security guard jailed for investigation of first-degree murder at downtown Denver protests

PHOTO CREDITS: SHUTTERSTOCK

A private security guard working for KUSA-TV, a local TV station, was jailed for investigation of first-degree murder in the deadly shooting of another man during dueling protests in downtown Denver (AP News).

Matthew Dolloff, 30, was taken into custody in connection with a clash that took place Saturday afternoon in Civic Center Park. He has not been charged and no lawyer was listed as representing him in court records.

At the time, two demonstrations were taking place that drew hundreds of people to the park. The right-wing Patriot Rally clashed with the left-wing “BLM-Antifa Soup Drive”, who held up flags and signs railing against Nazis and white supremacists. A man participating in what was billed a “Patriot Rally” slapped and sprayed Mace at a man who appeared to be Dolloff, the Denver Post reported, based on its photographs from the scene. The man identified as Dolloff drew a gun from his waistband and shot the other person, according to the Denver Post journalist who witnessed the episode.

The shooting victim was not named by authorities and died at a nearby hospital. The victim’s son identified the man on Sunday to the Denver Post as Lee Keltner, a 49-year-old U.S. Navy veteran who operated a hat-making business in the Denver area. “He wasn’t a part of any group. He was there to rally for the police department and he’d been down there before rallying for the police department,” Johnathon Keltner told the newspaper. A woman who said she was the victim’s mother, Carol Keltner, wrote in a social media post that her son was killed after being shot in the head.

A decision on any charges will be up to the Denver District Attorney’s Office, police said. A spokesperson for District Attorney Beth McCann said Sunday that the arrest affidavit in the case remained sealed and referred further questions to the police. It was not immediately clear if Dolloff had an attorney.

Under rules adopted by Denver in 2018, both security companies and the guards they employ must have city licenses (US News). Guards must undergo 16 hours of training and an FBI background check to get a license and complete eight hours more training to renew their license each year. Guards that carry firearms must also be screened by police. Dolloff did not have a license at the time of the shooting and there is no record of him applying for one. Companies that employ guards without licenses can have their licenses suspended or revoked and face fines. Individual guards who do not have licenses can be punished with a $999 fine and up to one year in jail.

ARTICLE: CARSON CHOATE, POLITICS EDITOR

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