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Denver security guard charged with murder in shooting at dueling protests

Matthew Dolloff, Denver security guard accused of fatally shooting a pro-police demonstrator
Matthew Dolloff, a Denver security guard accused of fatally shooting a pro-police demonstrator, has been charged with second-degree murder.
(Denver Police Department)

A Denver security guard accused of fatally shooting a pro-police demonstrator following dueling rallies was charged Monday with second-degree murder, according to the Denver district court clerk’s office.

The charges in the death of Lee Keltner, 49, were filed in district court against Matthew Dolloff, 30, who was assigned to protect a KUSA-TV producer at the time of the Oct. 10 shooting.

The next hearing is set for Wednesday, according to the district court clerk’s office. No attorney has been listed for Dolloff yet in court records.

Under Colorado law, second-degree murder is defined as knowingly killing someone but without the premeditation that prosecutors are required to prove in first-degree murder cases. Convictions carry a mandatory prison sentence of between 16 and 48 years.

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William Boyle, a lawyer for Keltner’s widow, said Friday that he thinks the evidence available supports a second-degree murder charge.

Boyle said he has reached out to KUSA-TV, Pinkerton and Isborn Security, the security company that said it hired Dolloff for the work as a contractor to Pinkerton, seeking more information about their actions. He said he did not immediately hear back from them and that a lawsuit against any entity involved in allowing Dolloff to work without a license was a possibility in order to “open a conversation.”

A lawyer for a security guard accused of fatally shooting a man after opposing protests in Denver says his client acted in self-defense.

“We are just trying to find out exactly what happened, why it happened and who is responsible for creating the situation that resulted in Mr. Keltner’s death,” he said.

Police say Keltner was in a verbal dispute with a 27-year-old man when Dolloff and a 25-year-old person got into an altercation with Keltner. Two opposing rallies — a “Patriot Muster” and a “BLM-Antifa Soup Drive” counter-protest — had just broken up in downtown Denver.

Keltner slapped Dolloff in the head, and Dolloff pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and shot Keltner as Keltner discharged pepper spray at him, police said in an arrest affidavit.

A cellphone video taken by KUSA’s producer suggests that Keltner was upset that his dispute with the first man was being recorded by cameras.

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It shows Keltner in a confrontation with a man wearing a T-shirt that read, “Black Guns Matter.” A bystander is trying to defuse the argument.

The video then shows Keltner, holding a spray can, walking out of view. A man’s voice — whose is unclear — is heard saying that the area was no place for cameras.

“Get the cameras out of here or I’m going to f— you up,” the unidentified man says. Keltner and Dolloff are then shown scuffling before the video stops.

The producer resumes filming after the shooting and tells arriving police that he is with the press and says of the man who was shot, “That guy was going to get me.” He also says the security guard shot Keltner because Keltner used Mace.

Someone out of view can also be heard saying, “He’s got magazines in his coat,” but it is not clear whom the person is talking about.

Police said they found two guns but have not said whom they belonged to.


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