Security guard in Denver protest shooting fired as victim used pepper spray, affidavit says

The arrest affidavit for the 30-year-old security guard suspected of shooting and killing a participant in a “Patriot Rally” in downtown Denver on Saturday states the guard fired his gun as the protester used pepper spray.

The affidavit for Matthew Robert Dolloff released Tuesday states that Lee Keltner, the 49-year-old demonstrator, was leaving the rally Saturday afternoon when he and another man started arguing, causing a bystander to try to separate them.

Keltner, who was holding a can of pepper spray, then became involved in a dispute with Dolloff and a 9News producer, whom Dolloff was guarding. Keltner slapped Dolloff in the side of the head, according to the affidavit, and Dolloff then drew a gun from his waistband.

Dolloff fired the gun as Keltner sprayed the pepper spray, according to the affidavit.

An attorney for his family said Monday that Dolloff was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed Keltner. Prosecutors had not formally charged Dolloff in connection with the shooting as of Tuesday morning.

Beyond criminal charges in the shooting, Dolloff could face additional criminal or civil action for working in Denver without the required municipal security guard license. Dolloff was working as a contractor for Pinkerton, which 9News had contracted with for security. Pinkerton said in a statement Monday that Dolloff was not an employee, but “a contractor agent from a long standing industry vendor” that the company would not name.

Dolloff worked as a security contractor for more than a year, his family attorney said, including at a debate Friday between senatorial candidates John Hickenlooper and Cory Gardner.

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