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The hired security guard who shot and killed a veteran at a “Patriot Rally” event in Denver, Colo., was reportedly not licensed as an armed security guard.
Matthew Robert Dolloff, 30, was hired as a contracted private security guard for the local NBC News affiliate 9NEWS to accompany staff at the protest, and he got into a violent altercation with Lee Keltner before pulling a handgun from his waist and shooting him dead.
Dolloff was being held without bail on suspicion of first-degree murder and 9News reported late Sunday that he was not properly licensed.
The affiliate said Dolloff was contracted through Pinkerton, but the private security guard company said it does not actually employ Dolloff. Pinkerton did not share the name of the company for which Dolloff worked.
BREAKING: According to a source at the Denver Department of Excise and Licensing, Matthew Dolloff, the shooter arrested on Sat. after the dueling rallies, has never been licensed as a security guard or to carry a gun on a security job. Both are required in Denver. Details at 5 pic.twitter.com/CjZXqgFLXI
— Sloan Dickey Denver7 (@SloanDickey) October 11, 2020
“We are in the process of still gathering information to better understand the incident that occurred in Denver on October 10 involving a contractor agent,” Pinkerton said in a statement. “The agent in question is not a Pinkerton employee. Pinkerton is fully cooperating with law enforcement authorities in their investigation of this matter.”
Eric Escudero, marketing and communications manager for the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, said “there is no record” that Dolloff had a required license to work as a security guard – and no evidence he’d had one in the past, according to 9News.
“If he was operating as a security guard, he was in violation of the law,” the office said, according to CBS Denver reporter Andrea Flores.
NEW: 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”. More tonight on @CBSDenver at 10p pic.twitter.com/mFAYXZ1er5
— Andrea Flores (@AndreaFloresTV) October 11, 2020
There was a lot of confusion immediately following the shooting after the Denver Post reported that Doloff was a left wing protester — a counter protest has been organized by Denver Communists, Denver-Boulder Socialist Revolution and others, which was billed as “Black Lives Matter Anti-Fascist Soup Drive.”
Amid swirling rumors, the Denver Police Department said later in a tweet the suspect had “no affiliation with Antifa.”
On Sunday, the department tweeted that “further investigation has revealed that, at the time of the shooting, the suspect was acting in a professional capacity as an armed security guard for a local media outlet and not a protest participant.”
The statement added that police were “unaware of whether the suspect is personally affiliated with any political organization.”
UPDATE 2/3: …not a protest participant. Immediately following the incident, rumors were circulating regarding the suspect’s affiliation with a particular group. Investigators are unaware of whether the suspect is personally affiliated with any political organization.
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) October 11, 2020
Keltner was identified by family members, who said he was a military veteran and a grandfather.
Further identifying him as an avowed patriot, his mother said he was at the rally to support the police.
Conservative patriot shot dead by activist identified as US veteran, who designed cowboy hats https://t.co/VV5DQOMZoH
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 11, 2020
“My son Lee was at the patriot rally today in Denver,” his mother Carol Keltner wrote on Facebook. “After the rally a person on the BLM and Antifa side went up to him said a few nasty words then shot him in the head. He was murdered because he backed the police.”
The deceased man was reportedly a hatter, an artist who made customized cowboy hats.
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