The man shot dead by a hired security guard during a Denver protest on Saturday was identified as a local hatter and military veteran.
Lee Keltner was shot shortly after 3:30 p.m. at a “Patriot Rally” outside the Denver Art Museum and later pronounced dead at a local hospital, The Sun reported Sunday.
“My son Lee was at the patriot rally today in Denver,” Keltner’s mother, Carole, posted on the Northeast Arkansas Tea Party Facebook group. “He was murdered because he backed the police.”
The Denver Police have said the shooter was a “private security guard with no affiliation with Antifa” who a local TV station confirmed it had hired to look over its reporters.
“His 24 year old son was with him,” the mom continued. “I moved to Arkansas because Colorado got too expensive and liberal. The left has gotten out of hand.”
According to a 2015 Denver Post profile of Keltner, the military vet has been a hatter at Crossfire Hats in Denver’s historic district for over 20 years. He said he opened up the shop in the Livestock Exchange Building in 1994, and only missed one stock show when he was in the military.
“I’m a country boy that feels at home here,” he said on a YouTube video at the time. “It’s just very laid back, very easy going surrounded by a whole lot of craziness."
Dramatic video captured the moment Keltner was shot in a clash of protesters in the courtyard of the museum.
The footage shows the veteran arguing with another man before spraying the alleged gunman with what appears to mace. The man fires a shot and Keltner is seen falling to the ground.
The gunman, identified as a hired security guard from the Pinkerton detective agency, 9News-TV confirmed.
The man was taken into custody but has not been identified.