Matthew Dolloff, 30, in a booking photograph. (Denver Police Department)
The hired security guard accused of shooting a protester dead during a Denver rally on Saturday was identified by police as Matthew Robert Dolloff.
Dolloff, 30, is being held in connection to a first-degree murder investigation in the shooting of Lee Keltner, the Denver Police Department announced on Sunday.
Officials said Dolloff has not yet been charged. He is being questioned about the shooting, which was captured on camera. The shooting happened at a pro-President Donald Trump rally that was disrupted by people with Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
According to jail records, Dolloff was booked on Saturday night on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Dolloff was hired by local news station 9NEWS to provide security during the demonstrations. He was hired via Pinkerton, a company that offers private security services.
“It has been the practice of 9NEWS for a number of months to contract private security to accompany staff at protests,” said 9NEWS. The station is an affiliate of NBC News.
Pinkerton and 9News didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Police also said that Dolloff is “a private security guard” who had “no affiliation with Antifa,” the anarcho-communist group. There were allegations that he was part of Antifa, a far-left, anarcho-communist network.
Dolloff’s social media accounts show he participated in Occupy protests in Denver and supported the Black Lives Matter movement.
Dolloff frequently shared posts from leftwing media outlets like The Young Turks and railed against President Donald Trump, who he called a fascist. He also indicated support for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a former Democratic presidential candidate.
A supporter of Sanders, James Hodkinson, carried out a mass shooting on Republican lawmakers in Washington in 2017.
After the shooting, Denver police released a statement: “The Denver Police Department respects the right to peacefully assemble. Those who participate in protests, demonstrations, marches, or other gatherings, as protected by the First Amendment, are reminded to do so in a lawful manner. Individuals who choose to act outside of local, state and federal law, will be subject to citation or arrest.”
The shooting took place on Saturday around 3:30 p.m. near the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Public Library, Joe Montoya, a police official told reporters. A verbal altercation took place just before the shooting, he said.
Witnesses said the shooting victim was part of the conservative “Patriot Rally” group.
Photographs that captured the incident showed a man deploying pepper spray or a similar chemical as the suspect pointed a gun at him. Moments later, the man was on the ground, shot, while police in riot gear ran over and arrested the shooter.
One video showing the minute before the shooting showed a man wearing a “Black Guns Matter” t-shirt shouting at a group of men who appeared to be with the conservative group, including the man who was eventually shot. The man with the “Black Guns Matter” shirt is enraged, shouting at the group. He tells one to mace him. The shooting victim moves out of the view of the camera. Moments later, a gunshot is heard.
The Denver Sheriff Department directed inquiries to the police, which didn’t return requests for more information on Sunday.