The man accused of fatally shooting a conservative protester in Denver this weekend was not licensed as a security guard despite working as one for a local news outlet.
Matthew Dolloff, 30, was arrested and charged this weekend in connection to shooting and killing Denver-area hatter Lee Keltner, who was attending a “Patriot” rally in the city.
“Denver Dept of Excise and Licenses confirms ‘there is no record for an active licensed security guard now or ever for an individual named Matthew Doloff or Dolloff. If he was operating as a security guard, he was in violation of the law,’” local reporter Andrea Flores reported.
9News hired Dolloff as a security guard to accompany its team to the rally on Saturday.
“A private security guard who was hired by 9NEWS is the suspect detained by DPD,” 9NEWS reported. “It has been the practice of 9NEWS for a number of months to hire private security to accompany staff at protests.”
A Denver Department of Excise and Licenses spokesman said Dolloff was breaking the law if he was in fact acting as a security guard, as there is no record of him for the department.
“If he was operating as a security guard, he was in violation of the law,” said Eric Escudero, a department spokesman. “Security guards are prohibited from carrying or using a firearm without getting an armed firearm endorsement for their license. All security guards in Denver are required to get a federal background check before they receive their license.”
The Denver Post reported that Dolloff also had critical social media posts regarding President Trump.
“Rumors spread across the internet after the shooting about Dolloff’s potential political affiliation, in part because of a reporting error by The Post that was corrected. While Dolloff’s social media does criticize President Donald Trump and includes photos of the 2012 Occupy Denver protests, he does not claim affiliation with any organization. Denver police on Saturday announced the shooting suspect had ‘no affiliation with Antifa.’”
A review of Dolloff’s alleged Facebook profile shows he shared multiple Democracy Now! articles and Young Turks podcasts in 2017, with many of them reporting on Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. His reported Facebook page has since focused on photos of farm animals and personal updates.
Court records show he had no previous criminal history besides traffic incidents.
“The Denver City Attorney’s Office will weigh any additional criminal charges related to the defendant possibly operating as an unlicensed security guard once the Denver Police Department completes its homicide investigation,” Ryan Luby, a spokesman for the Denver City Attorney’s Office, said in a written statement. “The CAO is also working with the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses to weigh disciplinary action against the security guard company for hiring and deploying an unlicensed guard, one without a license much less an armed endorsement.”
He is currently being held without bond.
The shooting unfolded Saturday afternoon after the anti-communist “Patriot Muster” rally kicked off.
“It’s time we let these communist socialists know we have had enough,” a description of the event stated. “Fight back, push back. Time to take our country back!”
A Denver Communists group responded to news of the event by holding a counterprotests called the “BLM-Antifa Soup Drive.”
“We scheduled our action after learning that the militia-fascists had called a ‘patriot muster’ against the Black Lives Matter movement, anti-fascists and Marxists,” a spokesperson for Denver Communists said. “That’s us — guilty as charged and happy to oblige with our presence.”
The victim, Keltner, was identified by his mother on Facebook this weekend.
“My son Lee was at the patriot rally today in Denver,” Keltner’s mother, Carole, posted on the Northeast Arkansas Tea Party Facebook group. “He was murdered because he backed the police.”
“His 24 year old son was with him,” she continued. “I moved to Arkansas because Colorado got too expensive and liberal. The left has gotten out of hand.”
Keltner had been living in Denver and was a hatter at Crossfire Hats in the city’s historic district for more than 20 years.
Author: Emma Colton