Security guard hired by TV crew arrested in deadly Denver protester shooting

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Police on Sunday identified a 30-year-old man as a suspect in a fatal shootout that took place in downtown Denver during dueling protests.Matthew Dolloff, a private security guard working for local television station KUSA TV, has been jailed for a first degree murder investigation related to the Saturday afternoon shooting, Denver police said in a message on the social networks.

A decision on any charge will rest with the Denver district attorney’s office, police said. A spokeswoman for District Attorney Beth McCann said on Sunday that the affidavit of arrest in the case remained sealed and referred other matters to police.

It was not certain that Dolloff had retained the services of a lawyer.

The shooting took place shortly before 3:50 p.m. local time on Saturday at Civic Center Park, after a man participating in what was billed a “Patriot Rally” slapped and sprayed Mace on a man who appeared to be Dolloff, reported the Denver Post based on its photographs of the scene. The man identified by the newspaper as Dolloff pulled a gun from his belt and shot the other person near the courtyard outside the Denver Art Museum, according to the Denver Post reporter who witnessed of the incident.

A protester sprays Mace, left, as another man fires a gun fatally on Saturday in Denver. (Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post via AP)

The man who was shot was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died an hour later, KUSA TV reported. He has not been publicly identified.

The shooting took place under a city surveillance camera and police said they had footage of the incident, KUSA reported.

On its website, KUSA said it hired the private security guard who was arrested in connection with the shooting.

“For several months, 9NEWS has had a practice of hiring private security guards to accompany staff during protests,” the station said.

Denver Police Department division chief Joe Montoya told the Post that police could not confirm the shooter’s or victim’s affiliations, but he said the incident started as a verbal altercation. Montoya said two guns were found at the scene as well as a tin can.

Police were unsure if Dolloff was authorized to carry a weapon, Montoya said at a press conference on Saturday.

Duel rallies

The Patriot Rally was one of two rallies that took place around the same time and drew hundreds of people to the park. A counter-demonstration and a food drive took place nearby.

Right-wing Patriot Rally protesters gathered in the park’s amphitheater and at times sang patriotic songs and waved banners, the Post reported.

Protesters from the left-wing “BLM-Antifa Soup Drive” waved flags and placards against the Nazis and white supremacists as they gathered in the middle of the park, several hundred yards from the boarded up amphitheater, said added the log.

Dolloff had been hired by security firm Pinkerton, 9News reported.

Representatives for security firm Pinkerton did not immediately return Associated Press emails and phone messages seeking comment.



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