Retired St. Louis police captain killed by looters while trying to protect friend's shop

Minyvonne Burke

A retired St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department captain was shot and killed early Tuesday morning while protecting a friend's pawn shop from looters, according to authorities and the victim's wife.

The retired captain, David Dorn, was responding to an alarm at Lee Pawn and Jewelry Store around 2:30 a.m. when he was shot and killed, police said.

No arrests have been made, and police Chief John Hayden, Jr. said officers are "actively working on identifying suspects."

Crimestoppers has offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

David Dorn in 2008 when he was a St. Louis police officer. (Scott Bandle / St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

"David Dorn was a fine captain," Hayden said at a news conference on Tuesday. "Many of us younger officers looked up to him. ... It's a very sad time for our agency."

Former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch called Dorn a "true public servant."

"Protecting & serving all the way to the end," Fitch tweeted. "None of us who knew you are surprised you went out fighting at Lee's Pawn this morning. God speed my friend."

The fatal shooting happened amid protests and unrest over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis custody.

Dorn retired from the police force after 38 years, according to Hayden. He died on the sidewalk in front of the pawn shop, and his death was apparently streamed on Facebook Live, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. In the video, a man tells Dorn to stay with him.

Dorn's wife, police Sgt. Ann Marie Dorn, told the outlet that he was a friend of the pawn shop's owner and would go and check out the business whenever the burglar alarm sounded.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson condemned the killing of Dorn and other instances of looting and violence during the Floyd protests.

"What Minneapolis police officers did to George Floyd isn’t acceptable and they MUST be held accountable. What criminals have done in St. Louis and across Missouri the past few nights isn’t acceptable. They MUST be held accountable," he said in a tweet.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the death, writing: "Our highest respect to the family of David Dorn, a Great Police Captain from St. Louis, who was viciously shot and killed by despicable looters last night. We honor our police officers, perhaps more than ever before. Thank you!"

Four active-duty St. Louis officers were shot during protests in the city early Tuesday, all of them suffering non-life-threatening injuries.