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Retired police captain shot to death at St. Louis pawn shop in slaying caught on Facebook Live

Retired police captain shot to death at St. Louis pawn shop in slaying caught on Facebook Live


UPDATED on Wednesday with details from video, comments from governor and tweet by President Donald Trump.

ST. LOUIS — A retired St. Louis police captain and municipal chief was shot to death by looters at a St. Louis pawn shop early Tuesday, and his killing apparently was broadcast on Facebook Live.

David Dorn, 77, was shot in the torso about 2:30 a.m. He died on the sidewalk in front of the shop, Lee’s Pawn & Jewelry, at 4123 Martin Luther King Drive.

David Dorn

David Dorn, in a 2008 photo when Dorn became police chief of Moline Acres. (Scott Bandle, Suburban Journals, via

Police have made no arrests and said they have no suspects. A reward for information leading to an arrest had climbed to $46,000 by Friday afternoon.

The killing north of downtown happened on a night of violence and destruction in St. Louis, as rioting followed protests over the Memorial Day death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Dorn was at the pawn shop to protect it from looting.

The Ethical Society of Police, which represents black officers in St. Louis, mourned Dorn as “the type of brother that would’ve given his life to save them if he had to.”

Flowers and a teddy bear sat outside the shop next to a handwritten sign that read, “Y’all killed a black man because ‘they’ killed a black man??? Rest in peace.”

Diane Davis knew Dorn and brought the flowers Tuesday. She said he was like a father to many.

“He was a kind man, he was a great man, he is a missed man,” she said.

Dorn’s wife, Ann Marie Dorn, said her husband was a friend of the pawn shop’s owner and worked for him. He would show up at the shop when burglar alarms sounded to check on the building and make sure it was secure, she said. She is a sergeant with the St. Louis Police Department.

David Dorn retired from the St. Louis Police Department in 2007 after 38 years on the job. He rose from rookie patrol officer in 1969 to captain. He was the deputy commander of the Bureau of Patrol Support, which oversees traffic and mounted patrols, commercial vehicles and the tactical unit.

When he retired, Dorn then became police chief in Moline Acres.

Tim Fitch, the former St. Louis County police chief, remembered Dorn as a “true public servant.”

President Donald Trump tweeted about Dorn Tuesday night, saying in part: "Our highest respect to the family of David Dorn ..."

Several people on social media said they watched a broadcast on Facebook Live that showed the shooting victim on the sidewalk in front of the pawn shop. A member of the Ethical Society of Police said the group is aware of the broadcast. One of those who saw it is state Rep. Rasheen Aldridge, D-St. Louis. He told the Post-Dispatch that he was shaken by it.

“Very traumatized right now,” he said in a message to a reporter.

I just seen a man die on live man! Smh.

Posted by Rasheen Lamont Aldridge on Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The video was taken down by Facebook shortly after it was broadcast but the company said in a statement that that was a mistake, explaining that the video did not expressly violate company policy on violent and graphic content.

“We’re saddened by what took place in St. Louis yesterday,” a Facebook spokesperson told the Post-Dispatch. “Under our policies, the video has been covered with a warning screen but remains on the platform so that people can raise awareness or condemn this event.”

The 13-minute video has been viewed more than 94,000 times.

"Oh my God, cuz," a young man, his voice shaking, says on the broadcast. "They just killed this old man at the pawn shop over some TVs ... c'mon man, that's somebody's granddaddy."

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson angrily referred to Dorn's slaying Tuesday. "The people that shot him should be accountable. And, no, they're not protesters. They're criminals and they're thugs ... and hopefully they get hunt down," Parson said.

St. Louis police Chief John Hayden said the department's officers are wearing black mourning bands on their police badges to honor Dorn.

CrimeStoppers on Tuesday night announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Dorn's killer. That amount increased to $40,000 by Wednesday after contributions from other organizations and individuals.

Anonymous tips can be made to CrimeStoppers' hotline at 866-371-8477. The family has said they support donations in Dorn's honor to CrimeStoppers or the BackStoppers.

Meanwhile, several GoFundMe fundraisers sprang up online that the family wasn't endorsing. St. Louis police are trying to get the unauthorized accounts removed. Dorn's wife said one fundraiser was legitimate: a account that had raised more than $215,000 by Wednesday afternoon. The fundraising campaign's description says that the money will go to Dorn's family.

Photographer Colter Peterson of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

Kim Bell covers breaking news for and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter here.


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