Photos of Lee Keltner’s encounter with the Pinkerton security guard who later shot him dead amid the clashes in Denver were captured in photos. The Colorado hatmaker was protesting in defense of law enforcement and in defiance of anti-police demonstrations at the time of his death on Saturday.

The series of photos show Lee Keltner and the Pinkerton private security guard later identified as Matthew Dolloff approaching each other amid the ongoing protests. Keltner then raises his left hand to Dolloff’s face, prompting the guard to draw a handgun. As the encounter escalates, Keltner raises a canister of Mace and unleashes a yellow mist of the choking spray in front of Dolloff. The next photos show Keltner crumpling to the sidewalk as the mist spreads through the air.

Keltner was participating in a rally at the Civic Center Park at the time of the ill-fated encounter. An opposing group was holding an event called BLM/Antifa Soup Kitchen just a few meters away, as the police kept the two groups on separate sides of the park.

According to witnesses, Dolloff approached Keltner after he had deployed what appeared to be Mace, but friends of Keltner denied the claims. Even if the reports were true, they said it was not a reason to kill Keltner.

“Mace isn’t a deadly force. How can you be shot for doing that?” Keltner’s friend said. The friend also said he’s unaware of Keltner being part of any group. “To my knowledge, in 20 years, I’ve never known him to be a racist. A proud American? Yes. But a racist? No.”

Social media posts suggest that Keltner has been actively participating in rallies recently. His friends describe him as a patriot who even brings his motorcycle to demonstrations.

Meanwhile, Matthew Dolloff, who had been hired as private security by a local news station covering Saturday’s dueling demonstrations, was quick to give up his gun when the police arrived at the scene. He is being investigated for first-degree murder and is being held in the Denver County Jail.

Black Lives Matter Protest A young woman wearing a mask and black lives matter t-shirt marching in a #BlackLivesMatter protest. Julian Wan/Unsplash