Lee Keltner was the hatter and Navy veteran who police say was shot and killed by a security guard hired by a local television station during coverage of dueling protests in Denver, Colorado.
The shooter has been named as Matthew Robert Dolloff, who is being charged with second-degree murder by the Denver District Attorney.
He was 49 years old.
Lee Keltner Shot and Dead
Keltner was at a Patriot Rally when police say, he was shot by Dolloff, who had contracted with 9News “to accompany staff at protests.” Dolloff did have some left-wing comments posted on social media, including criticizing President Donald Trump and liking posts favorable to Bernie Sanders. Most of his posts dealt with livestock and selling farming items.
Police said the shooting broke out as protest activity started to end around 3:30 p.m. Seven minutes later, officers indicated that shots had been fired. They already had someone in custody who turned out to be Dolloff.
The private security hired by 9NEWS, was definitely Antifa if you look at his wrist tattoo.
Why did 9NEWS hire Antifa as its security? pic.twitter.com/BRUXYBWs86
— SlavTrapGod (@slavtrapgod) October 11, 2020
According to an arrest affidavit summarized in The Denver Post, Keltner “became involved in a dispute with Dolloff and a 9News producer, whom Dolloff was guarding,” with Keltner slapping Dolloff “on the side of his head,” and firing the gun as Keltner “discharged pepper spray at Dolloff.”
Keltner’s family spoke out after word came that Dolloff would face charges, calling them a “positive first step,” according to CBS Local.
“The Keltner family obviously wants justice for Lee. The charges of 2nd Degree Murder announced today represent a positive first step. The available evidence supports these charges,” the family’s statement read in part.
Friends offered tributes on social media. One, Laura Sanders, wrote: “Lee was a loving husband, father & friend. He was a minister & helped those in need. He has family & friends who are grieving.”
His mother, Carol Keltner, wrote on a Facebook page for a tea party group in another state that Lee attended the Patriot Rally, and “after the rally, a person on the BLM and Antifa side went up to him said a few nasty words then shot him in the head. He was murdered because he backed the police.” She said his adult son was there.
Keltner Owned a Hat Store
The Denver Post ran a photo of Keltner from 2015 that showed him “working on a hat at his home-based shop for Crossfire HKeltner’s LinkedIn page identifies him as “Owner/hatter of Crossfire hats” in Denver, Colorado. In 2015, The Denver Post did a feature story on Keltner’s hat store.
He was a Navy Veteran
The statement was in the name of Keltner’s wife who said the family was “in shock and mourning the loss of a father, grandfather, son, brother and husband” who was “a proud Coloradan, a veteran, and an artist,” CBS Local reported, adding that Keltner served in the Navy.
A GoFundMe page to help Keltner’s family has raised more than $26,000. The message on it reads,
This patriot was killed in a pro-police rally. This family has had a tremendous amount of loss in the past few months, from a loss of a baby to losing their mother in law last week to tragically losing their brother, uncle, father, and son this week. If you can donate anything toward the family and funeral cost that would be greatly appreciated. Everything raised will go to Lee Keltner’s sister Suzan Keltner. I am a good friend of Lee’s sisters Suzan and decided to set up the fundraiser for the money to go to the family. Suzan is set as the beneficiary of this account. All money will go to Lee’s family including his wife and kids. Please respect this family at the time of their grieving. I will not be speaking to any press out of respect for the family.
However, one man has alleged that Keltner threatened him before the shooting. He said he wasn’t armed.