St. Louis Police Searching for Seven in Capt. David Dorn's Killing


"Subject 6" shown with a gun inside Lee's Pawn and Jewelry. - SCREENGRAB
  • "Subject 6" shown with a gun inside Lee's Pawn and Jewelry.

St. Louis police are looking for seven people in the killing of one of the department's retired captains.

David Dorn, who also served as Moline Acres chief after retiring from the St. Louis force, was shot early Tuesday morning while protecting a north city pawn shop from looters, authorities say.

Police released surveillance footage from inside Lee's Pawn and Jewelry, 4123 Martin Luther King Drive, that shows seven people crawling one after another beneath a security gate into the ransacked store. At least two men in the group are armed, and in an excerpt of the video (screenshot above) one of the men points a handgun toward the door.

Police describe the people as "persons of interest" in Dorn's killing.

Four of the "persons of interest" in David Dorn's killing. - SCREENGRAB
  • Four of the "persons of interest" in David Dorn's killing.

Dorn's widow told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the retired lawman was a friend of the pawn shop's owner and worked there sometimes, which included responding to burglar alarms. He was shot during a night of widespread vandalism and looting. More than 75 businesses across the city were hit.

During the daylight hours on Monday, thousands of people marched nonviolently through the city in solidarity with protests across the country sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

St. Louis police Chief John Hayden says a smaller group of about 200 people remained on the streets Monday night into early Tuesday, setting fires, looting businesses and clashing with police. Four police officers were shot minutes after midnight downtown and were briefly hospitalized.

Three of the seven "persons of interest." The man on the left, may have cut his hand on door glass. - SCREENGRAB
  • Three of the seven "persons of interest." The man on the left, may have cut his hand on door glass.

At 2:38 a.m. Tuesday, Dorn was gunned down at the pawnshop. His death was immediately denounced by people on all sides of the protests, and it has become part of an anti-protest narrative on the far right. President Trump, who has responded angrily to the nationwide protest with threats to unleash military troops on crowds, seized on Dorn's death as an example of unchecked menace.

"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," Trump tweeted on Tuesday night.

Police ask anyone with information to call the department's homicide division at 314-444-5371.

CrimeStoppers is offering a reward of as much as $10,000 (Update: The reward is now up to $46,000.) for information that leads to an arrest in the case. The hotline is 1-866-371-8477 (TIPS). Callers can remain anonymous.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
  • Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.