Security guard in custody after fatal shooting near dueling Denver rallies
A man who worked as a private security guard for a television station was in custody Sunday when authorities investigated a fatal shootout following an altercation during opposing rallies in downtown Denver.
The violence flared up in Civic Center Park on Saturday afternoon after a man participating in a so-called "Patriot Rally" sprayed another man with a club, according to the Denver Post.
The man who was shot near the Denver Art Museum was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died an hour later, TV station KUSA said. The station said on its website that it had signed the private security officer who was arrested in connection with the shooting.
"It has been customary for a few months for 9NEWS to employ private security guards to accompany employees during protests," said the broadcaster.
Denver Police identified the guard on Sunday as Matthew Dolloff, 30, and said he was being held on an investigation into first degree murder related to the incident on Saturday. City officials said Dolloff was not eligible to work as an armed private security guard in Denver, the Post reported.
The shooting victim, who was not named by the authorities, was identified in the Post as Lee Keltner, a 49-year-old US Navy veteran who ran a hattering business in the Denver area.
"He wasn't part of any group," Johnathon Keltner told the newspaper. "He was there to gather for the police and he was down there before he met for the police."
There was an oral argument prior to the shooting, said Joe Montoya, director of investigations for the Denver police force.
A "private security guard with no affiliation with Antifa" is a suspect in the incident, which police tweeted the previous Saturday.
There was a heavy police presence in the city center on Saturday afternoon, and officials were trying to distinguish "two groups with opposing views," Montoya said. Two cannons and a can of maces were found at the scene, he said.
Around the same time as the Patriot Rally, a counter-protest called "BLM-Antifa Soup Drive" took place in the park.
Right-wing Patriot Rally protesters gathered in the park's amphitheater to sing songs and raise banners, the Post reported.
According to the Denver authorities, a man is being taken into custody after allegedly shooting another man.
Left rally attendees held up flags and signs that mocked the Nazis and white supremacists as they gathered in the middle of the park several hundred feet from the barricaded amphitheater, the Post said.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said violence was not acceptable.
"While we encourage peaceful protest, we will never tolerate demonstrations that escalate into clashes and violence. Political differences should be resolved at the ballot box, not in the streets, and we will continue to do so this election season and beyond," he tweeted.
The shooting took place under a city surveillance camera and police said they had footage of the incident, KUSA-TV reported.
In some cities, clashes between protesters have increased in recent months.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was accused of fatally shooting two people after Jacob Blake, a black man, was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Rittenhouse arrest has become a rallying point for some on the right. A legal protection fund has attracted millions in donations, and President Donald Trump even defended the youth.
Others see a domestic terrorist in Rittenhouse whose presence incited the demonstrators with a gun.
In Portland, 39-year-old Aaron "Jay" Danielson, a supporter of Trump and the far-right Patriot Prayer group, was shot dead on August 29 after duel protests in Portland.
Contributor: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Shooting in Denver: Guard in Custody; BLM; Patriot rally
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