Denver prosecutors on Thursday announced they will charge Matthew Dolloff with second-degree murder in Saturday’s fatal shooting as dueling protests wrapped up in Civic Center park.
The 30-year-old, who was working as a private, contracted security guard for television station 9News at the time of the shooting, faces between 16 and 48 years in prison if convicted.
Dolloff is accused in the killing of 49-year old Lee Keltner, a Navy veteran and custom cowboy hat maker. Dolloff was initially being held on suspicion of committing first-degree murder.
Prosecutors say they will formally file the charges on Monday. “No additional information is being released at this time,” the Denver District Attorney’s Office says.
Videos and photos of the shooting show Dolloff shot Keltner after Keltner struck him in the face. It appears their altercation happened after Keltner became upset that he was being filmed verbally fighting with another man.
9News says it has been hiring security guards to accompany its staff at protests for several months. Dolloff was provided to the station by the security firm Pinkerton, which says it obtained Dolloff’s services through a contract with Isborn Security Services.
Matt Isborn, the owner of Isborn Security Services, said Wednesday that his company had hired Dolloff to work for KUSA-TV. He said the information released so far shows that Dolloff’s actions were “strictly defensive in nature” and his quick reaction may have saved the producer’s life.
Dolloff’s attorney has defended his client’s actions as being in self-defense. Dolloff was accompanying a 9News producer at the time of the shooting.
9News said it specifically asked Pinkerton for unarmed guards and that none of its employees were aware that Dolloff had a gun on the day of the shooting.
The altercation that led up the shooting happened after dueling left- and right-wing rallies in downtown Denver.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.