A newly released police report breaks down the moment a US Navy veteran was gunned down by a security guard at a Denver “Patriot Rally.”
The arrest warrant charging guard-for-hire Matthew Dolloff with first-degree murder reveals that shooting victim Lee Keltner, 49, was leaving the right-wing rally at Civic Center Park in the Mile High City around 3:30 p.m. Saturday when he got into an argument with as many as three other men.
One dispute with an unnamed 27-year-old man got so heated that witnesses came “to believe the men may engage in a physical altercation,” prompting a 60-year-old bystander to stand between them, according to the report obtained by Fox affiliate KDVR-TV.
Dolloff, a 30-year-old security guard hired through the Pinkerton detective agency to protect a 9News-TV crew, then became involved in an argument with a 25-year-old man who is not identified, the report said.
Keltner was at the rally with his son, but it is unclear if he was the one involved in the dispute.
At around 3:35 p.m., Keltner turned his attention to Dolloff and another man — and then just to Dolloff.
“Mr. Keltner strikes Mr. Dolloff in the side of the head with an open hand,” according to the arrest warrant. “Mr. Dolloff is then observed drawing a handgun from his waistband, aiming at Lee Keltner and shooting once, striking Mr. Keltner, as Mr. Keltner discharges his OC (pepper) spray. Mr. Keltner collapsed to the ground.”
Denver police, along with Arapahoe County and Douglas County sheriff’s deputies, who were at the scene, then moved in and arrested Dolloff, “who was still holding a semiautomatic handgun,” the report said.
Keltner, a hatter at a local hat-making shop, was rushed to Denver Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:05 p.m.
Dolloff made an initial court appearance Sunday morning and is being held at the Downtown Detention Center pending a return court appearance.
Denver prosecutors and court officials said no details on his arraignment are currently available.
Dolloff’s lawyer claimed Tuesday that his client acted in self-defense.