Lee Keltner, a 49-year-old Navy veteran, was murdered in Denver on Saturday. He was killed by 30-year-old Matthew Dolloff, who claimed to be a private security guard.
Keltner sprayed mace at Dolloff, who drew his weapon and shot Keltner in the head. The victim was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Johnathon Keltner, Lee’s 24-year-old son, told a newspaper reporter that his father was not part a specific group. He said his father was “there to rally for the police department.” News reports immediately claimed that Keltner was part of a “Right-Wing Patriot Rally.”
Dolloff, who shot Keltner from about six feet away, was immediately surrounded by police and taken into custody. A spokesperson for Denver’s District Attorney Beth McCann said the arrest affidavit was sealed. She deferred questions to the local police.
Dolloff is being held without bond on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Denver TV station 9News, an NBC news affiliate, said Dolloff was working as a private security guard. They said he was hired through the Pinkerton security firm. Private security guards have been hired to accompany news staff at protests for several months, the station reported.
But Denver officials have no record of the license required for Dolloff to work as a private security guard. “If he was operating as a security guard, he was in violation of the law,” said Eric Escudero, spokesman for the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses.
Rules governing security guards were established in Denver in 2018. Among other things, it requires them to be licensed. It also requires them to have special endorsements to carry a firearm or operate in plainclothes. Dolloff was not wearing a uniform. In addition, his name did not appear on the city-run database that lists several thousand security guards who work in Denver.
Both the Patriot Rally and BLM-Antifa “Soup Drive” were in the same vicinity. The “Soup Drive” rally was apparently meant to be a sarcastic response to the group throwing soup cans at police during protests. Police were present to keep the two groups separated.
Uniformed police officers in riot gear could be seen all along the street and also on the sidewalk near the art museum where Keltner was murdered. In fact, several police officers were just a few feet away from both Keltner and Dolloff when the shooting occurred. Video surveillance camera captured the incident, which clearly showed Dolloff shooting Keltner.
This video shows an altercation between members of the two groups. The video ends with the sound of the shot that killed Keltner, who had just walked away.
The news media was quick to identify Keltner as a pro-Trump supporter participating in a “right wing” Patriot Rally.
Dolloff’s Facebook page showed he raised sheep on a ranch on the Eastern Plains of Colorado. Court record showed he had no previous criminal history, the Denver Post reported. His social media page also showed he’s anti-Trump, anti-police, pro-Occupy, and pro-BLM. He’s also a gamer, hence the “space invaders against oppression” tattoo on his right wrist. In other words, he’s a loser.
Carol Keltner, the victim’s mother, posted a simple but poignant message on her Facebook page. “He was murdered because he backed the police,” she wrote.
Image from: Denver Post