Denver police have detained a private security guard hired by a local news station for the shooting of a man at a “Patriot Rally” in Colorado Saturday afternoon, the latest fatality amid months of nationwide protests.

Key Facts

The Denver Police Department on Sunday identified the suspect as 30-year-old Matthew Dolloff, who is under investigation for first-degree murder—though he has not yet been charged.

Dolloff had been hired by NBC News affiliate 9News to serve as a private security guard for coverage of two dueling rallies—a “Patriot Rally” and a “BLM-Antifa Soup Drive” counter-protest—scheduled in downtown Denver on Saturday afternoon.

Photos and videos of the incident show a heated interaction between both sides, followed by the man slapping Dolloff and spraying him with mace.

Videos then show Dolloff shooting the man, who was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead an hour later. 

Police on Sunday sought to dispel rumors spreading across social media that Dolloff was an Antifa activist. 

Police haven’t yet announced the identity of the deceased man, though friends and family on social media identified him as military veteran Lee Keltner. 

Crucial Quote 

“He was murdered because he backed the police,” wrote Carol Keltner on Facebook, identifying herself as Keltner’s mother. “His 24 year-old-son was with him.” 

Key Background 

This is the latest fatality amid months of clashes between political protesters. In August, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was charged with killing two protesters and injuring a third during heated unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. In September, Aaron J. Danielson, affiliated with the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, was shot by Michael Forest Reinoehl, a self-identified supporter of Antifa, during protests in downtown Portland, Oregon. 

Further Reading 

“One dead after gunfire at downtown Denver rallies; private security guard on contract by 9News in custody” (The Denver Post)

“What We Know About Kyle Rittenhouse, The 17-Year-Old Charged In The Kenosha Shootings” (Forbes)

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