Matthew Dolloff was being held Sunday without bail on suspicion of first-degree murder following the shooting that left one man dead.
DENVER — Records show the man being held for investigation in the deadly shooting near dueling demonstrators in Denver on Saturday was working as a security guard but was not properly licensed, 9Wants to Know has learned.
Matthew Dolloff, 30, was contracted through the company Pinkerton by 9NEWS. It has been the practice of 9NEWS for a number of months to contract private security to accompany staff at protests.
Pinkerton, however, said it does not actually employ Dolloff – Pinkerton did not share the name of the company for which Dolloff worked.
Dolloff was arrested moments after a single gunshot rang out on the plaza between the Denver Art Museum and the city’s main library. He was on Sunday being held without bail on suspicion of first-degree murder following the shooting that left one man dead.
According to Eric Escudero, marketing and communications manager for the city’s Department of Excise and Licenses, “there is no record” that Dolloff had a license required by the city to work as a security guard – and no evidence he’d had one in the past.
City law defines a security guard as “a person employed or engaged by a private security employer to perform security services.”
Investigators have concluded that Dolloff was acting as a security guard at the time of the incident, according to a tweet from the Denver Police Department (DPD). It reads, in part, “further investigation has revealed that, at the time of the shooting, the suspect was acting in a professional capacity as an armed security guard for a local media outlet and not a protest participant.”
Dolloff could face a fine of up to $999 and a year in jail, Escudero said, if convicted of violating city law about security licensing.
And the company that employs him could also face ramifications under the law – the city ordinance requires such companies to make sure all of its security guards are licensed.
But it’s not clear who Dolloff actually works for. In a statement issued Sunday afternoon, Pinkerton officials described him as a contractor.
“We are in the process of still gathering information to better understand the incident that occurred in Denver on October 10 involving a contractor agent,” the statement says. “The agent in question is not a Pinkerton employee. Pinkerton is fully cooperating with law enforcement authorities in their investigation of this matter.”
The Denver City Attorney’s Office “will weigh any additional criminal charges related to the defendant possibly operating as an unlicensed security guard once the Denver Police Department completes its homicide investigation,” said Ryan Luby, spokesman for the CA’s Office. “The CAO is also working with the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses to weigh disciplinary action against the security guard company for hiring and deploying an unlicensed guard, one without a license, much less an armed endorsement.”
Saturday’s incident came near the end of dueling demonstrations that included members of Black Lives Matter and other groups on one side, as well as people attending what was called a “Patriot Muster.” The gatherings were dispersing when a group of people gathered in the plaza near the art museum.
Photographs and videos show the immediate moment of the confrontation, what appears to be physical contact between a demonstrator and Dolloff, a spray of a chemical irritant and a gunshot.
Denver prosecutors are expected to decide in the coming days whether he will be charged with a crime.
The identity of the man who died has not been released by the coroner’s office.
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