A retired St. Louis police captain has died after being fatally shot while responding to looting at a pawnshop where he worked security. David Dorn, 77, was discovered on the sidewalk in front of Lee's Pawn & Jewelry in St. Louis around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Police Commissioner John Hayden announced during a news conference that afternoon, also revealing that at least 55 businesses had suffered damage following protests in the city in response to the killing of George Floyd.
Speaking at the conference, Hayden remembered Dorn as "a fine captain" who many younger officers looked up to, according to CNN. He retired from the force after 38 years. According to Hayden, "during the looting process, David Dorn was exercising law enforcement that he learned here." Dorn's wife, Ann Marie Dorn, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that her husband was a friend of the pawn shop's owner and would often check on the business when burglar alarms sounded.
Speaking to local station KTVI, Dorn’s son, Brian Powell, said that he learned of his father's death less than two hours later when he received a call from his brother telling him, "They shot and killed Dad, they shot and killed Dad." While the family is reeling, Powell said that his father, who was passionate about helping young people, would forgive the person who killed them and the others causing violence amid the protests.
"He would have forgiven that person. And he would try to talk to them. Because he was really big on talking to youth. And mentoring young people. He tried to get them on the straight and arrow and everything," Powell said. "The person who pulled the trigger, my message to them would just simply be, just step back from what you're doing. Know the real reason you’re doing it. Let's do it in a positive manner. We don't have to go out and loot. And do all the other things. We can do things in a peaceful, calm manner. We don't have to go about destroying our communities like that."
Dorn had more than 40 years of police experience. After retiring from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, where he served for 38 years, in 2007, he served as the police chief of Moline Acres in north St. Louis County. At this time, no arrests have been made in connection to Dorn's murder. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that police currently have no suspects. A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest. A Fundly campaign has since been started for Dorn's family and has raised more than $160,000.