DENVER — The unlicensed security guard arrested after a fatal shooting following a confrontation near the end of dueling protests is being held on a $500,000 bond, according to online court records.
Matthew Dolloff, 30, was formally charged with second-degree murder on Monday for his alleged role in the Oct. 10 shooting. Denver District Attorney Beth McCann had announced she intended to file this charge last week.
Dolloff, who online records say is being represented by public defenders, is slated to appear in court for an advisement hearing on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.
Dolloff was taken into custody last Saturday following the shooting near the Denver Art Museum (DAM) near the end of dueling demonstrations that included members of Black Lives Matter and other groups on one side, as well as people attending what was called a "Patriot Muster."
The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner identified the victim as Lee Keltner, 49.
Keltner, reportedly a Navy veteran, worked as a hatter and was also a part of Colorado’s Motorcycle community. The Biker Down Charity has started a fundraiser for his family, describing him as a husband, father and friend to many.
Dolloff was contracted through the company Pinkerton by 9NEWS. It has been the practice of 9NEWS for a number of months to contract private security to accompany staff at protests. Denver Police said in a tweet that Dolloff was "acting in a professional capacity as an armed security guard."
Pinkerton said it does not actually employ Dolloff – Pinkerton did not share the name of the company for which Dolloff worked. Pinkerton on Monday released the following statement via its Facebook page:
9NEWS on Tuesday released two video clips taken from the cell phone of a producer on Saturday. One clip shows the moments that preceded the shooting of Keltner during the dueling Denver rallies. The video stops, and the second clip shows the aftermath when police are securing the scene. Another video, taken by an individual live-streaming during the incident, shows the 12 seconds in between when the shooting occurred.
WARNING: The videos below contain graphic content and language that viewers may find disturbing.
According to Eric Escudero, marketing and communications manager for the city’s Department of Excise and Licenses, “there is no record” that Dolloff had a license required by the city to work as a security guard – and no evidence he’d had one in the past.
City law defines a security guard as “a person employed or engaged by a private security employer to perform security services.”
Dolloff was issued a concealed carry permit in June 2018, which was viable for five years, according to Elbert County Sheriff Tim Norton. Norton said he suspended the permit Monday morning.
According to the probable cause (PC) statement released by the Denver Police Department Tuesday, Keltner and another individual engaged in a "verbal dispute" and "both men yelled and postured" while walking with a group around 3:30 p.m. near the DAM during the rally. Witnesses told investigators they believed "the men may engage in a physical altercation," the PC statement says.
The other person seen in the initial confrontation with Keltner spoke to reporter Jason Whitley from our sister station WFAA in Dallas on Thursday night.
Watch the full, raw interview below:
Keltner was then observed holding a bottle of OC spray prior to striking Dolloff in the side of the head with an open hand following an altercation in front of the DAM, according to the PC statement.
Dolloff then pulled a gun from his waistband and fired one shot at the same time Keltner sprayed the OC, the PC statement says. Keltner immediately collapsed, the PC statement says, and officers quickly took custody of Dolloff.
Keltner was taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead at 4:05 p.m., the PC statement says.
Doug Richards, an attorney for the Dolloff family, said in a statement Sunday:
"Matt was acting in self-defense. Matt put his life and now his liberty in between the now-deceased and the 9NEWS employee. This was not a political assignment for Matt. This was simply Matt protecting your employee.”
9NEWS management released the following statement about the incident:
“9NEWS continues to cooperate fully with law enforcement and is deeply saddened by this loss of life.
“For the past few months, it has been the practice of 9NEWS to contract private security, through an outside firm, to accompany our personnel covering protests. Pinkerton, the private security firm, is responsible for ensuring its guards or those it contracts with are appropriately licensed. 9NEWS does not contract directly with individual security personnel.”
An additional statement from 9NEWS management was released Tuesday:
"As stated [Monday], 9NEWS does not contract directly with individual security personnel. 9NEWS contracted with Pinkerton and had directed that security guards accompanying our personnel not be armed. None of 9NEWS’ crew accompanied by Mr. Dolloff on Saturday were aware that he was armed.”
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