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Denver Patriot Rally shooting suspect claims self defense -does he have a case?

Matthew Dolloff self defense
Matthew Dolloff self defense
Matthew Dolloff self defense
Matthew Dolloff self defense

Matthew Dolloff self defense: Denver Patriot Rally shooting suspect claims he had no alternative when he fatally shot Lee Keltner to death as he feared being killed along with concept of proportionality. 

The security guard arrested with thee shooting death of a Navy veteran at a Denver rally over the weekend has claimed acted in self-defense when he opened fire on the right-wing demonstrator, his lawyer said in an interview.

Matthew Robert Dolloff, 30, a hired security guard, is being held on suspicion of a first-degree murder investigation in the shooting death of Lee Keltner, 49, during a ‘Patriot Rally’ that included clashes with Black Lives Matter and Antifa demonstrators.

Local NBC news affiliate, 9News-TV had hired the Pinkerton detective agency sub-contractor to provide security during the demonstration, though he was not licensed to work in that capacity, officials have said.

Keltner struck Dolloff while holding a can of apparent pepper spray and used the substance against Dolloff, who opened fire, images from the confrontation show.

Family attorney Doug Richards told The Denver Post that Dolloff saw Keltner reaching into his shirt and feared for his safety.

Successful self defense claim depends on the nuances of the case

‘I think it’s important to recognize that this is somebody who is at the protest working to protect First Amendment rights,’ Richards told the news outlet Monday.

‘He was not there on behalf of any organization or to advance any political agenda. You can see in the images that he put his body in between the protester and the reporter. Matt was doing everything he was supposed to do and everything he was trained to do,’ he added.

A follow up report by the Denver Post, Tuesday morning claimed whether Robert Dolloff would be able to successfully claim ‘self defense’ depended on the nuances of the case.

Specifically: Under Colorado law, someone can use deadly force in self-defense only if that person reasonably thinks using less force won’t be sufficient, and the person reasonably believes he or someone else faces an immediate threat of being killed or seriously hurt.

There is no duty to retreat under state law, but the action taken in self-defense must be generally proportionate to the attack, attorneys said.

“The way I used to explain it to juries is there are two fundamental components of self-defense,” said Stan Garnett, former district attorney in Boulder County. “The first one is the perception of the person involved in it — what did they reasonably believe was happening? And the second provision is proportionality. Did they respond in a manner that was appropriate and proportionate?”

Following Saturday’s shooting, Dolloff’s concealed carry pistol permit was yanked pending the outcome of his first-degree murder case, according to KCNC-TV.

Matthew Dolloff self defense
Matthew Dolloff self defense. Social media debates gunman’s legitimacy of self defense claim.

Acting in self defense or responding to political-ideological agenda? 

Richards said that Dolloff had worked as an armed security guard at a debate between Colorado’s U.S. Senate candidates held at Denver7’s TV studio.

The station confirmed that he was one of the guards at the event but disputed that he was armed.

‘We do not use armed guards,’ News Director Holly Gauntt told The Denver Post in an email. ‘We have always told Pinkerton that we want unarmed guards.’

Richards said he did not know precisely what security training Dolloff had undergone or who provided the training.

‘Even if he didn’t carry the special Denver security license, it didn’t stop Pinkerton from sending Matt into that job and it doesn’t change the fact that Matt was acting in self-defense,’ the attorney told the Denver Post.

On Monday, Pinkerton released a statement offering its condolences to those affected by the shooting.

Posting, ‘As it relates to the incident in Denver on Oct. 10, the agent in question is not a Pinkerton employee but rather a contractor agent from a long-standing industry vendor,’

‘Security professionals often serve as guides to protect media crews during potentially dangerous situations or hostile environments. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement authorities in their investigation.’