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77-year-old retired police captain shot to death at St. Louis pawn shop in slaying caught on Facebook Live

St. Louis police (Daniel Schwen/WikiCommons)

A retired police captain 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.

Police have made no arrests and said they have no suspects. Authorities have announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

*** [The graphic video can be found here.] ***

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.

The killing happened on a night of violence and destruction in St. Louis.

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, she said. She was too distraught to talk more about her husband.

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.”

Several people on social media said they watched a broadcast on Facebook Live that showed the shooting at 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.

The post 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 said. “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.”


© 2020 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch