David Dorn, 77, was a mentor to young people, his son said

By Chris Harris
June 03, 2020 10:42 AM
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David Dorn
Scott Bandle, Suburban Journals/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AP

A beloved retired police captain was shot to death early Tuesday morning as he tried to protect his friend's St. Louis business from people who were looting, according to multiple reports.

David Dorn, 77, retired from the St. Louis Police Department after 38 years of service.

Dorn is survived by his five children and 10 grandchildren.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KMOV, and KTVI report that Dorn's killing was captured on a Facebook livestream.

Dorn was fatally shot while helping a to protect a friend's pawn shop during looting sparked by last week's death of Minneapolis man George Floyd.

According to KTVI, Dorn was killed around 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

He was found dead on the sidewalk in front of the pawn shop.

At this time, investigators have yet to identify a potential suspect in Dorn's killing.

Dorn's son, Brian Powell, told the station his father was passionate about helping young people.

He told KTVI his father likely would have forgiven those behind the violence and tried to talk to them.

"Because he was real big on trying to talk to youth," Powell said. "And mentoring young people as well. He tried to get them on the straight and narrow and everything. 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 that you're protesting. Let's do it in a positive manner. We don't have to go out and loot and do all the other things."

The Ethical Society of Police wrote in a Twitter post Dorn "was the type of brother that would've given his life to save them if he had to."

RELATED: Mother of George Floyd's Daughter Speaks Out After His Death

During a press conference on that evening's violence, St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said Dorn had been "a fine captain" who was very well-liked by colleagues.

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Dorn retired from St. Louis police in 2007, and later became police chief in Moline Acres, a very small Missouri city.

Powell told KTVI his father couldn't stay retired after he left the city force.

"Police work ran through his veins," he added.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.