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'We will honor him': Retired St. Louis police captain shot and killed during looting of pawn shop

"He was murdered by looters at a pawnshop. He was the type of brother that would’ve given his life to save them if he had to"

ST. LOUIS — A retired St. Louis city police captain was shot and killed outside a north St. Louis pawn shop Tuesday morning amid violence that swept across the city overnight.

The shooting happened at 2:38 a.m. at Lee's Pawn and Jewelry on the 4100 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, near the border of the Vandeventer and The Ville neighborhoods.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said officers arrived to find 77-year-old David Dorn lying on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound to his torso. The pawn shop had been looted, police said.

Dorn was pronounced dead at the scene.

"One of the people murdered last night was a retired St. Louis City Captain," the Ethical Society of Police tweeted Tuesday morning. "He was murdered by looters at a pawnshop. He was the type of brother that would’ve given his life to save them if he had to. Violence is not the answer, whether it’s a citizen or officer. RIP Captain!"

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden remembered Dorn in a Tuesday news conference as he and other St. Louis leaders discussed the chaos that took place downtown after a day of peaceful protests gave way to violence and looting.

Credit: SLMPD
Retired SLMPD Captain David Dorn

“David Dorn was exercising law enforcement training that he learned here, so in his honor, we are wearing our mourning badge," Hayden said.

“... David Dorn was a fine captain. Many of us younger officers looked up to him. So very well-liked and very pleasant. And his wife still works here, so a very sad time for our agency. We will honor him."

Dorn graduated from the police academy in May 1970. He was assigned to the patrol support division when he retired from the SLMPD in October 2007, according to a police spokesperson. 

R.M. Fraction Sr., Head Police Chaplain for St. Louis PD, recalled memories with Dorn created over 20 years.

"He has done so much in training younger officers to be better than they are," he said.

Fraction said Dorn served the city for 38 years and was the Moline Acres police chief for five years.

RELATED: $10,000 reward for information in murder of retired St. Louis police captain during looting of pawn shop

Former St. Louis County police chief and current county councilman Tim Fitch said he worked constantly with Dorn when he became chief. But he said he's known Dorn and his wife for almost 30 years.

"He's a true public servant. Integrity and the public service: that's what stands out for the Dave Dorn that I knew," Fitch told 5 On Your Side.

Missouri state Representative Chris Carter said in a statement that Dorn was his cousin.

“Representative Chris Carter and his family are in mourning this morning at the death of their cousin, former St. Louis Police Department Captain David Dorn,” the statement said. “... He will be greatly missed.”

Flowers and a candle were placed outside the store Tuesday next to a sign that read, "Y'all killed a black man because 'they' killed a black man??? Rest in peace."

A homicide investigation is underway.

Anyone with information is asked to call the department's Homicide Division directly at 314-444-5371 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477. CrimeStoppers is offering a reward up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest for the death of Dorn.

Credit: CrimeStoppers

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