A woman who dated Matthew Dolloff (pictured) for three years from 2010 to 2013 revealed her shock at learning about his arrest for fatally shooting a Navy veteran at a Patriot Muster rally in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com
The unlicensed security guard who shot and killed a Navy veteran at a Patriot Muster rally attended Occupy Denver protests and shared far-left opinions on social media, DailyMail.com has learned.
Matthew Dolloff’s ex-girlfriend spoke to DailyMail.com exclusively on Tuesday, sharing her shock at the news of his involvement in Saturday’s fatal shooting along with several details about their time together.
The ex-girlfriend, who asked to remain anonymous, dated Dolloff right out of high school from 2010 to 2013. During that time they were both heavily involved in Occupy Denver – the local branch of Occupy Wall Street – and spent nearly two years protesting against economic inequality in the heart of the city, she said.
She said she lost touch with Dolloff after they broke up and hadn’t thought about him in years before this weekend, when the 30-year-old made headlines nationwide after he shot dead Lee Keltner on Saturday afternoon outside Denver’s Civic Center, where pro-police Patriot Muster supporters faced off with Black Lives Matter and Antifa counter-protesters.
Local TV station 9News hired Dolloff to protect staff covering the dueling protests through the Pinkerton security firm, which said it had sub-contracted him from another agency it declined to name. On Sunday it was confirmed Dolloff was not licensed to serve as a private security guard.
Rumors quickly began circulating online that Dolloff was motivated to kill by extreme left-wing beliefs, fueled by dozens of liberal posts he shared on a Facebook account that his ex-girlfriend confirmed is his.
But Denver Police Department said on Saturday that Dolloff had no known affiliations with Antifa or Black Lives Matter – and his ex-girlfriend echoed that assertion.
‘Matt isn’t Antifa or associated with BLM,’ she told DailyMail.com on Tuesday. ‘He shares a lot of of the same views and yes, was heavily involved with Occupy Denver/Wall Street but hasn’t, from my knowledge been involved in any activism for the last five-plus years.
‘I can’t really speak on who he is today, but if he’s anything like the Matt I remember, he really is a good guy who would go out of his way to help someone in need. He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. I can’t defend his actions on Saturday, but he’s not a bad guy.’
The ex-girlfriend also denied rumors that a tattoo on Dolloff’s wrist was related to Antifa. She said it was her cousin who gave Dolloff the tattoo when they were dating, and that the black symbol was a logo for a music company he worked for called sub.mission.
Dolloff’s ex-girlfriend said that they were both heavily involved in the Occupy Denver movement for two years between 2011 and 2012. Dolloff (center in black) is seen participating in a rally in Denver in 2012 in a photo on his Facebook page
Dolloff is seen scrawling ‘99%’ on the sidewalk in chalk during an Occupy Denver rally in 2011. Dolloff’s ex-girlfriend said that the pair got involved in Occupy Denver in the movement’s early days in 2011, saying: ‘We were there pretty much all the time’
A man identified by Getty Images as Dolloff is seen holding a folded American flag at an Occupy Denver rally in 2011
Dolloff’s Facebook page and public records reviewed by DailyMail.com show that he runs his own business in Elizabeth, Colorado, called Lavender Moon Farm, where he raises livestock and bees with his wife. Pictured: Dolloff and his wife sell their honey products at a trade show in March 2019
Dolloff is seen on his farm in Elizabeth in a photo posted on the Lavender Moon Farm page in April 2019. His ex-girlfriend said that the tattoo on his wrist is not related to Antifa, contrary to online speculation
Photos taken by a Denver Post photographer captured the moment Dolloff shot and killed Keltner on Saturday afternoon outside the Denver Art Museum, where pro-police Patriot Muster supporters faced off with Black Lives Matter and Antifa counter-protesters. Local TV station 9News hired Dolloff to protect staff covering the dueling protests through the Pinkerton security firm, which said it had sub-contracted him from another agency it declined to name
Saturday’s shooting was captured in a series of 71 images by a Denver Post photographer, which showed Keltner slapping Dolloff and deploying a stream of mace into his face before the guard lifted his handgun and fired, sending the protester staggering backward.
Dolloff was visibly stunned as he immediately surrendered to riot police who rushed in to arrest him. He was booked on suspicion of first-degree murder and is being held at the Downtown Detention Center without bond.
An arrest affidavit unsealed on Tuesday said that Keltner got into a verbal dispute with a 27-year-old man in which both ‘yelled and postured’, leading others to believe the dispute was going to turn physical.
A 60-year-old man stepped in to urge them to stop before Dolloff engaged in an altercation with Keltner as he was still arguing with the 27-year-old man.
A Facebook page believed to belong to Dolloff features dozens of posts with liberal views and criticisms of Donald Trump dating back several years
In a post from 2017 Dolloff wrote ‘FTP’, which commonly stands for ‘f*** the police’
Keltner slapped Dolloff in the head and Dolloff pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and shot Keltner as Keltner discharged pepper spray at him, the document said.
An attorney representing Dolloff’s family, Doug Richards, said that he was acting in self defense when he shot Keltner, saying that the gunman feared for his life as he saw the victim lift his shirt, potentially reaching for his own weapon. Police said they recovered two firearms from the scene but did not confirm who they belonged to.
Dolloff’s ex-girlfriend declined to speculate on the circumstances of the shooting but said: ‘He never had been known to be violent. It’s weird seeing the whole country have an opinion on him, when I actually know him and who he is as a person.’
Public records reviewed by DailyMail.com show that Dolloff has been involved in a small livestock and honey-making business called Lavender Moon Farm since 2014. Dolloff lives full-time at the farm in Elizabeth, Colorado, according to neighbors who spoke to FOX31.
In photos on Dolloff’s Facebook page and a page for Lavender Moon, Dolloff is seen tending to various animals alongside a woman who his ex-girlfriend confirmed is his wife.
The Facebook profile also included dozens of political posts dating back to 2011 in which Dolloff, a registered Democrat, railed against Republicans including President Trump and Texas Sen Ted Cruz and urged his followers to vote for Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential primary race.
He also shared several photos from Occupy Denver gatherings in 2011 and 2012. In one photo from the latter year, he is seen raising his fist above a crowd while holding a folded American flag and wearing a pin that reads: ‘We are the 99%.’
Dolloff’s ex-girlfriend said that the pair got involved in Occupy Denver in the movement’s early days in 2011 and continued turning out for events over the next two years. ‘We were there pretty much all the time,’ she said.
Dolloff remained actively engaged in politics years later, according to posts on his Facebook page.
In the spring of 2016, Dolloff shared several photos of a Sanders campaign rally, along with a few posts calling for his friends to vote for the progressive candidate.
Dolloff, 30, (left) is jailed on suspicion of first-degree murder for shooting Lee Keltner (right). Speaking to DailyMail.com on Tuesday, Dolloff’s ex-girlfriend said: ‘I can’t defend his actions on Saturday, but he’s not a bad guy’
In June of that year, he shared a screenshot of Trump in a CNN interview, captioning it: ‘F*** this guy.’
A few weeks later, he shared the following encounter: ‘Ran into a Trump supporter with a Trump Button on their shirt. Told them i like their “im a racist” button. They had nothing to say. #f***trump [sic].’
Days after Trump took office in January 2017, Dolloff wrote: ‘Let me get this straight, the executive branch is not listening to the judicial branch, so there are no more checks and balances. Fascist dictatorship now??’
Later that year he posted a YouTube link entitled: ‘Utah nurse screams as she’s cuffed by cop for refusing to draw blood on patient.’ In the caption Dolloff wrote: ‘FTP,’ which stands for ‘F*** the police’.
After Dolloff was named as the suspect in Saturday’s shooting, social media users scoured his Facebook page for evidence of liberal extremism, digging up many of the posts mentioned above.
Keltner’s mother Carol joined the chorus of speculating critics in her own Facebook post on Sunday, charging that her son was killed ‘because he backed police’ and saying: ‘The Left has gone to far.’
Dolloff’s Facebook profile and the profile for Lavender Moon Farms showed several photos of him with his wife
In a post from 2017, Dolloff shared that he and his partner had both obtained hunting licenses
Scattered among Dolloff’s political posts are dozens of photos of him with his wife. It’s unclear when they got married, but one photo indicated that the wedding took place in the summer.
His Facebook profile also has a link to Lavender Moon Farm’s Facebook page, which features more photos of the couple.
Public records showed that Dolloff lives at the same address listed on Lavender Moon Farm’s page. The address was changed on Monday after trolls began posting negative comments on the Lavender Moon page.
Dolloff’s neighbor Van Decastro (pictured) spoke to FOX31 on Monday. Decastro said he frequently observed Dolloff practicing his shooting at the farm’s backyard range
Several of the photos showed Dolloff shooting at targets on the farm, as well as playing with sheep, dogs and chickens. In a post from 2017, Dolloff shared that he and his wife had both obtained hunting licenses.
The Lavender Moon Farm profile has several posts inviting followers to visit the couple’s booth at the Tanner Gun Show, alongside photos of branded jars of honey and other goods.
Neighbors who live near Lavender Moon Farm confirmed that Dolloff lived there but said they didn’t know much about him.
‘They’ve got a lot of sheep. They’ve got turkeys, and other than that, other than that, last year they had a hemp field they tried to range,’ neighbor Van Decastro told FOX31.
Decastro said he frequently observed Dolloff practicing his shooting at the farm’s backyard range, which was fashioned out of railroad ties.
‘I used to watch him out here all the time target shooting at his target range,’ he said, noting that other neighbors also enjoyed target practice. ‘They used every kind of gun. They used pistols and AR-15s, rifles, and just shot at targets.’
The Elbert County Sheriff’s Office on Monday confirmed that Dolloff did have a valid concealed carry license at the time of Saturday’s shooting. Sheriff Tim Norton said he moved to cancel the license following the shooting.
Neighbors who live near Lavender Moon Farm (pictured) confirmed that Dolloff lived there but said they didn’t know much about him, other than that he took care of livestock and enjoyed going out to his gun range
Pinkerton released the statement above on Monday
Pinkerton: The security firm that contracted Patriot Muster shooter
Pinkerton was thrust into the spotlight after it was revealed that 9News used the security firm to hire Matthew Dolloff.
The firm was founded as Pinkerton National Detective Agency in Chicago in 1850 by Scotsman Allan Pinkerton.
At the height of its power in the early 20th century, Pinkerton was the largest law enforcement agency in the country.
The US Department of Justice contracted out investigative work to Pinkerton in the 1870s, before the Anti-Pinkerton Act of 1893 banned the government from employing individuals affiliated with the firm.
Pinkerton gained a reputation for intimidating factory workers while helping companies keep unionists out of their operations.
Today, the word Pinkerton is still associated with union conflicts – but the firm focuses efforts on threat intelligence, risk management and executive protection.
The company was purchased by Swedish security company Securitas AB in 1999. It’s headquarters is now located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
It remains unclear how Dolloff was hired to work as security for 9News despite the fact that he was not licensed to work as a security guard, according to Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses.
Pinkerton said that it did not directly employ Dolloff and had contracted him from another company, which it declined to name.
The security firm also did not respond to questions about how it could have contracted someone without a valid license.
The Denver City Attorney’s Office said both Pinkerton and 9News could face criminal charges for hiring Dolloff.
The circumstances surrounding Saturday’s shooting are still under investigation.
The Denver Police Department said that some kind of ‘verbal altercation’ transpired between Dolloff and Keltner in the moments before shots were fired.
Richards, the lawyer representing Dolloff’s family, insisted on Monday he was acting in self defense because he feared for his safety when he saw Keltner reach into his shirt.
He said images of the scene showed that Dolloff put his body between Keltner and the producer from 9News he was working to protect.
‘I think it’s important to recognize that this is somebody who is at the protest working to protect First Amendment rights,’ Richards said.
‘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.’
Police have said two guns and a mace can were found at the crime scene but declined on Monday to release any more details about what happened, including who the guns belonged to, because they do not want to harm the ongoing investigation, department spokesperson Jay Casillas said.
The document laying out the reasons for Dolloff’s arrest remained sealed until Tuesday.
He appeared in court on Sunday, where he was denied bond.
A stunning series of images captured the moment Dolloff, a private security guard working for News9, shot and killed the Patriot Muster protester identified by family members as Lee Keltner. In the image above, Keltner (left) appears to slap Dolloff (right) in the face while holding a can of mace in his hand
A second image showed Keltner deploying mace at Dolloff, who had pulled a handgun out of his waistband. Dolloff was contracted by local TV station News9 through Pinkerton, a private detective and security agency
Keltner staggers backward after Dolloff fired his weapon into the cloud of mace, striking and killing the protester
Dolloff laid down his weapon and appeared to tell a 9News producer he was with to back away as riot police rushed at him
Dolloff fell to his knees and immediately surrendered after fatally shooting the man who maced him
WHO ARE THE ‘PATRIOT MUSTER’ PROTESTERS?
Patriot Muster is the name given to pro-police activists who have attended rallies organized by John Tiegen, an ex-Marine and Blackwater private security guard.
The group was formed over the summer as Denver, along with dozens of other cities across the US, was roiled by protests against racism and police brutality.
Patriot Muster made headlines in July when it hosted a ‘Back the Blue’ rally that descended into chaos when protesters began clashing with counter-protesters. Tiegen accused the counter-protesters of throwing soup cans at his followers.
Tiegen organized another Patriot Muster rally on Saturday at the Denver Civic Center, under the slogan: ‘Stand up, show up.’
The slogan bore similarities to President Donald Trump’s response when asked to condemn white supremacists and the Proud Boys. Instead of disavowing them he said: ‘Stand back and stand by.’
Black Lives Matter protesters led by the Denver Communists responded by creating their own rally in the same location, dubbed the ‘BLM-Antifa Soup Drive’.
The ‘soup rally’ was meant to be ironic in response to Tiegen accusing leftist protesters of throwing cans.
Tiegen foreshadowed violence at the event on Friday, telling KNUS: ‘I’m not going in there to do violence, but I’m going to be prepared to do violence.’
Keltner’s mother Carol expressed her anger and heartbreak in a Facebook post on Sunday, claiming that her son was ‘murdered’ because he supported the police.
‘My son Lee was at the patriot rally today in Denver,’ Carol wrote in the Northeast Arkansas Tea Party Group. ‘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. His 24 year old son was with him. I moved to Arkansas because Colorado got too expensive and liberal. The left has gotten out of hand.’
Keltner’s sister, Suzan Keltner, on Sunday said her nephew has been struggling to cope after witnessing his father’s death.
‘He was my brother, my only sibling,’ Suzan told the New York Post. ‘He also served our country.’
Jay Keltner, one of Lee’s sons, also posted about the tragedy on Facebook, writing: ‘I can’t believe my dad’s gone. This will never be right #RIP.’
He also changed his cover photo to a video grab from the fatal incident showing his father spraying mace at Dolloff.
Jay Keltner told the Denver Post his father wasn’t a member of any group and was there ‘to rally for the police department’ as he had done so at previous protests.
A friend of Keltner’s who spoke to FOX31 described in as ‘the guy that would give you the shirt off his back. Not just somebody who was killed in a protest’.
The friend, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was unaware of Keltner being involved in any political groups.
‘To my knowledge, in 20 years, I’ve never known him to be a racist. A proud American? Yes. But a racist? No,’ they said.
The friend also questioned why Dolloff felt the need to shoot Keltner, saying: ‘Mace isn’t a deadly force. How can you be shot for doing that?’
The moments leading up to the shooting were captured in a video posted on social media, which showed Keltner engaged in a shouting match with another man believed to be with the group of Black Lives Matter and Antifa counter-protesters.
The counter-protester, who was wearing a ‘Black Guns Matter’ shirt, is heard telling Keltner: ‘F***ing mace me,’ as bystanders attempt to pull them away from each other.
The counter-protester continues shouting as Keltner walks out of the video frame. Seconds later a gunshot rings out and Keltner is seen lying on the pavement.
The moments leading up to the shooting were captured in a video posted on social media, which showed Keltner engaged in a shouting match with another man believed to be with a group of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters who turned out at the art museum to face off with the Patriot Muster crowd
In videos and photos from the shooting, Keltner was seen wearing a shirt that said ‘BLM’ followed by an obscene phrase that appeared to mock the Black Lives Matter movement. The shirt was partially obscured by his sleeveless military vest.
Loved ones identified Keltner (pictured) as the Patriot Muster shooting victim on Sunday
Keltner owned his own custom hat-making business in Brighton called Crossfire Hats, according to The Sun.
He shared his love for the trade in an interview with the Denver Post in 2015, saying: ‘Everything I do is custom. I do one hat at a time, I do it right for that customer, and then I move on to the next one.’
In a video from 2012 Keltner described how he was ‘keeping the West alive, one hat at a time’.
‘I love being an artist,’ he said. ‘Creating new and different things because I do all the work myself and I do it one at a time. It’s truly special for that customer.’
Several friends paid tribute to Keltner in social media posts, including Laura Sanders, who described him as a ‘loving husband, father and friend’ on Twitter.
‘Lee u always had a great sense of humor & always helped those you could,’ Sanders wrote in one post. ‘U were one of the good guys! This world is a sadder place without u my friend! Thanks 4 all the great memories & fun times! Praying 4 your family! U were an amazing friend, husband and dad! Love ya buddy!’
In another tweet Sanders wrote: ‘I will miss you forever my dear friend! Your life taken by a coward! You were an amazing husband, father and friend! I will miss our conversations and your laugh and smiling face! Rest In Peace Lee! Much love.’
Court records show that Keltner has a criminal record dating back more than a decade. His most recent brush with the law was in 2016 when he was charged with Disorderly Conduct/Fighting in Public. Before that, he pleaded guilty to violating a protective order in 2008.
Loved ones described Keltner (left and right) as a ‘loving husband, father and friend’ who was always helping people in need. Keltner’s mother Carol said the he was killed ‘because he backed police’
In videos and photos from the incident, Keltner was seen wearing a shirt that said ‘BLM’ followed by an obscene phrase (pictured) that appeared to mock the Black Lives Matter movement