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St. Louis police release pawn shop surveillance video in hunt for killer of retired police captain

St. Louis police release pawn shop surveillance video in hunt for killer of retired police captain

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David Dorn

David Dorn, in a photo from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

ST. LOUIS — A surveillance video showing men breaking into a pawn shop was released by police Friday in an effort to catch the person who fatally shot a retired police captain hired to protect the shop from looters.

The video from store surveillance cameras shows at least seven men as they burst into Lee’s Pawn & Jewelry, at 4123 Martin Luther King Drive. All the looters have their faces covered in the video. Six were wearing masks and one had a white shirt covering his head and face.

• UPDATE: Charges filed in murder of retired police captain

• UPDATE: Man charged with looting at St. Louis pawn shop where retired police captain was slain

At least two of the men had handguns and the video shows one of them pointing a gun toward the door.

The video released by police doesn’t show the killing of David Dorn, 77, who was shot early Tuesday. He was found dead on the sidewalk in front of the shop.

David Dorn

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

Police have made no arrests and released the video seeking the public’s help on the fourth day of the homicide investigation. A reward for information leading to an arrest has climbed to $46,000.

The video runs from 2:13 a.m. to nearly 2:17 a.m. Dorn was found dead about 2:30 a.m. The video shows one man who took off his mask inside the store, revealing the side of his face. He put his mouth on his left hand as if it was bleeding. Police think he might have cut himself on glass.

Looter in St. Louis pawn shop before death of retired police captain

A surveillance video from inside a pawn shop shows this man among at least seven looters on hand before retired St. Louis police Capt. David Dorn was killed on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Provided by St. Louis police)

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’s wife, Ann Marie Dorn, has said her husband was a friend of the pawn shop’s owner and worked for him. He would go to the shop when burglar alarms sounded to make sure it was secure, she said. She is a sergeant with St. Louis police.

David Dorn retired from the St. Louis police force in 2007 after 38 years on the job. He was a popular commander who 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 became police chief in Moline Acres.

Seven men caught on pawn shop surveillance video

St. Louis police released a surveillance video showing seven men at Lee's Pawn & Jewelry early on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, where a retired St. Louis police captain was shot and killed. 

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call St. Louis homicide detectives at 314-444-5371. Anonymous tips can be made to the CrimeStoppers’ hotline, 866-371-8477.

Several people on social media said they watched a broadcast on Facebook Live that showed Dorn die on the sidewalk in front of the pawn shop. The 13-minute livestream, which was broadcast from outside the store, 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.”

Several GoFundMe fundraisers sprang up online that the Dorn family had not endorsed. St. Louis police are trying to get the unauthorized accounts removed.

Ann Marie Dorn said one fundraiser was legitimate: a fundly.com account that had raised more than $325,000 by Friday night. The fundraising campaign’s description says that the money will go to the Dorn family.

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

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