The security guard who fatally shot a man in Denver as competing rallies wound down will be charged with second-degree murder, leaving him with the prospect of spending nearly 50 years in prison.
A number of people witnessed Matthew Dolloff, 30, shoot Lee Keltner, 49, between the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Public Library in the afternoon on Oct. 10. Some captured video footage of the shooting while a professional photographer snapped several pictures before, during, and afterward.
Denver District Attorney Beth McCann announced the planned charge on Thursday, noting it carries a mandatory prison sentence of between 16 and 48 years.
“This incident occurred on Saturday afternoon, October 10, 2020, as Mr. Keltner was leaving Denver’s Civic Center Park where it is alleged that Mr. Dolloff shot Mr. Keltner after an altercation,” McCann’s office said in a brief statement.
“Mr. Keltner was transported to Denver Health Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. On October 12, 2020, the medical examiner ruled Mr. Keltner’s death a homicide.”
The murder charge will be filed in Denver District Court on Oct. 19.
Dolloff’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The lawyer has claimed Dolloff was acting in self-defense.
Dolloff was arrested immediately after the shooting and had been held on suspicion of first-degree murder, according to jail records.
It wasn’t clear why there was a shift from first-degree to second-degree murder.
The Denver Police Department released an affidavit earlier this week describing the scene. A detective wrote that Keltner struck Dolloff on the side of the head before backing up and bringing out a can of mace. As he discharged the can, Dolloff fired his weapon once, striking Keltner.
Dolloff was not a rally participant, police have said. 9News, an NBC affiliate, said it hired Dolloff through Pinkerton to protect its employees reporting on the dueling protests, one held by pro-President Donald Trump ralliers and the other held by Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
The two groups were separated by dozens of police officers, with little to no interaction reported between them.
Dolloff lacked a security guard license, a city spokesman confirmed to The Epoch Times.
He faces an additional one year in prison because he was acting as a security guard without the license.
Pinkerton and 9News also face civil or criminal penalties, a city spokesman told The Epoch Times.
Officials at the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Dolloff had a concealed carry weapons permit (CCW). They have suspended it, pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.
“The reason for that is that he is currently facing criminal charges, and utilized a CCW issued by this office to help carry out his alleged crime,” Elbert County Undersheriff Dave Fisher told The Epoch Times. “We have suspended it. We maintain that people have a right to have a CCW but it does not give them the ability to go out and commit crimes.”