A series of graphic photos and videos captured the scene when a security guard for a local television station is accused of opening fire at a dueling protest, killing a man affiliated with a Patriot rally.
The DA is now charging Matthew Dolloff, the suspect, with second-degree murder. A jail record shows that Matthew Robert Dolloff was booked on a murder accusation in the Denver, Colorado jail.
9News confirmed it had contracted with the security guard as part of its coverage of the dueling protests. Some people criticized the station on Twitter for hiring a security guard with alleged left-wing views. A review of Dolloff’s social media accounts did show expletive-laden criticism of Donald Trump. He also liked posts that were positive to Bernie Sanders, shared Occupy Democrats posts and posted protest photos in the past. However, more of his posts dealt with working on a local farm and livestock, such as turkeys. You can read more about the suspect, including his social media posts, here.
“We don’t know if they were a security guard or authorized to carry a weapon,” police commander Joe Montoya said of the suspect in the initial news conference from the scene, but police later confirmed the suspect was a “private security guard.”
According to 9News, there were two rallies going on; a “Patriot Rally” and counter protest called “BLM-Antifa Soup Drive.” A local talk show host claimed the man who died was part of the Patriot rally and was “defending himself with bear spray.” However, the photos appear to show the man who died touching Dolloff’s face. Montoya said it wasn’t clear whether the victim was at the Patriot Rally or not.
The jail booking sheet spells the suspected shooter’s name incorrectly as Matthew Doloff, 30. It says he was booked for first-degree murder. Here is that jail record:
Here’s what you need to know:
The Photos Show the Man Who Died Touching Dolloff’s Face & Spraying Bear Spray at Him
Some people gave accounts of what unfolded on social media. Talk show host Richard Randall wrote on Twitter, “I was interviewing a woman about 10 yards away when THIS happened. The man on the left had just left the event held by Tig & other patriots. He was defending himself with bear spray. He was shot in the face & has died. 2 suspects in custody.” Police later indicated the second person was not connected to the shooting.
The series of dramatic photos published by Getty images captures the sequence of events. They show the man who was shot touching Dolloff’s face before a cloud of orange spray indicates that bear spray was deployed. The guard opens fire and then goes to his knees with his hands up as law enforcement officers surround him.
In analyzing photos and video evidence, some people say they show the deceased man backing up before he was shot.
The man who died was wearing an American flag mask and a T shirt that said “BLM” and “f*cking…lives matter.” Because he’s wearing a vest, it’s not possible to read all of the saying on the shirt. He has tattoos on both arms.
“ALERT : Officers are investigating a shooting that occurred in the Courtyard by the Art Museum. 1 victim transported to the hospital their condition is unknown, 1 suspect in custody,” Denver police wrote on Twitter.
At about 3:30 p.m., the protest activity was starting to break up and people were starting to leave the park, when, at 3:37 p.m., officers working the event got on the air and indicated there were shots fired, a person down, and the suspect was in custody, Division Chief Joe Montoya said.
Both suspect and victim are white males. The name of the man who was shot has not yet been released.
Police Denied Dolloff Is Affiliated With Antifa & Described a Verbal Altercation
People claimed on Twitter that Matthew Dolloff’s tattoo shows alliance with Antifa, but police disputed that.
“Update: Further investigation has determined the suspect is a private security guard with no affiliation with Antifa. Additional information will be released as it becomes available,” Denver police wrote on Twitter.
Montoya said Mace was recovered at the scene, and police are still trying to determine whether a rumor that the victim had used it was true, despite the photos clearly showing it was.
“There was a verbal altercation that transpired at the area of the shooting that was between the art museum and the Denver public library. A firearm was discharged. An individual was shot and later pronounced deceased. There were two guns recovered at the scene,” Montoya said.
He said it wasn’t confirmed at the time of the news conference that the suspect was affiliated with a television station. The suspect was arrested immediately after the shooting occurred.
There is video capturing the incident. He said the suspect was at police headquarters. There was initially a second person taken into custody but it was determined to be non-related.
“There was a large presence because we have two groups with opposing views,” said Montoya of the reason so much law enforcement was at the scene.
According to 9News, “the private security guard in custody was contracted through Pinkerton by 9NEWS. It has been the practice of 9NEWS for a number of months to contract private security to accompany staff at protests.”
The victim was pronounced dead at the hospital. “They did render aid right away,” said Montoya.
9Newsr reporter Marc Sallinger tweeted tense scenes from the protest, writing,
“Dozens of militia group members arrive for the ‘patriot muster’ in Denver. Many are carrying shields and wearing helmets.”
“A couple hundred feet away a group with an ‘Antifacist Action’ flag as well as a ‘Denver Communists’ flag is at a standoff with a line of police in riot gear.”
“There are a lot of police officers out today separating the two groups. There are also fences all around civic center park keeping the two groups apart. The far-left group here right now is shouting ‘the only good cop is a dead cop.'”
“There are a couple hundred people on either side. They’re separated by fences very far apart as well as a line of police officers facing the far-left side. One side is now chanting ‘USA, USA’ while the other side is chanting ‘black lives matter.'”
“A line of police officers kneel down to put on gas masks, perhaps foreshadowing what’s to come. The officers are lined up in front of a line of far-left groups organized by the Denver communists #9News.”
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