Steve October 11, 2020

Denver authorities on Sunday identified the security guard who was arrested after a fatal shooting near dueling protests by left-wing and right-wing demonstrators.

The Denver Police Department said in a statement that Matthew Dolloff, 30, was being held for investigation of first-degree murder in a shooting Saturday outside the Denver Art Museum that left one man dead.

Jail records show that Dolloff was being held without bond.

Authorities have not identified the victim of the shooting. The protests had taken place earlier at Denver’s Civic Center, where people had gathered for a “Patriot Rally” and a Black Lives Matter-antifa “soup drive.”

NBC affiliate KUSA reported that it had retained Dolloff as a private security contractor through Pinkerton, the risk management and security services firm. The outlet said it had begun using private security in recent months while covering protests.

Pinkerton did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday. The Denver Police Department said Dolloff was acting “in a professional capacity as an armed security guard” for a local media outlet at the time of the shooting.

In an apparent response to social media posts linking Dolloff to the anti-fascist movement, the department said it was “unaware of whether the suspect is personally affiliated with any political organization.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if Dolloff has a lawyer.

A Denver police official, Joe Montoya, said Saturday a verbal altercation preceded the shooting, which occurred as the protests were winding down. Photos of the confrontation captured by a Denver Post photographer appeared to show a man spraying something at another man with a handgun.

Montoya said that video had been recovered, but he declined to provide details. He said two guns and a can of mace were found from the scene. He said investigators were still trying to determine what happened.

“We don’t want any erroneous information going out, any speculation, because that’s really what hurts us, and that’s what gets everybody angry and motivated to commit more violence, and that’s what we’re trying to prevent,” Montoya said at a news conference.

Helen Richardson, the Denver Post photographer who photographed the shooting, said in an Instagram post that “this thing whole thing just saddens me beyond words.”

“I fear for what the weeks ahead hold for all of us,” she said.

Tim Stelloh

Tim Stelloh is a reporter for NBC News based in California.

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