Felon Charged with Murdering Black Retired Police Captain David Dorn in Riots
Stephan Cannon arrested on first-degree murder charges for shooting 77-year-old
Police in Missouri have arrested and charged a convicted felon for murdering 77-year-old retired police captain David Dorn during riots in St. Louis last week.
On Sunday, the St. Louis Police Department announced that 24-year-old Stephan Cannon has been charged for shooting and killing Dorn while allegedly looting a store.
Cannon has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, armed criminal action, and unlawfully possessing a firearm after he allegedly shot and killed Dorn.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner said in a statement Sunday that the arrest is the result of an "extensive homicide investigation" following the June 2 murder of Dorn.
Gardener revealed that investigators recovered surveillance footage from the business where the fatal shooting unfolded as well as surrounding businesses in the area.
Dorn was shot and killed in the early morning hours of June 2 while trying to protect his friend’s pawn shop during a night of violent protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, his widow said.
Dorn's last moments were caught on video and apparently posted on Facebook Live, though the video has since been taken down.
He was killed by people who had broken into Lee's Pawn & Jewelry, and his body was found on the sidewalk at about 2:30 a.m., investigators said.
His death came on a violent night in St. Louis, where four officers were shot; officers were pelted with rocks and fireworks; and 55 businesses were burglarized or damaged, including a convenience store that burned.
Police also shot and gravely injured a burglary suspect who they said shot at officers.
Cities across the U.S. have seen protests and violence since George Floyd died May 25 while in the custody of a white Minneapolis police officer.
Dorn was a friend of the pawn shop's owner and frequently checked on the business when alarms went off, his wife, St. Louis police Sgt. Ann Marie Dorn told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
David Dorn served nearly 40 years on the St. Louis police force before he retired in October 2007.
He then became chief of Moline Acres, a small town in St. Louis County.
Former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch knew Dorn for 30 years and said they became close friends when Dorn and his wife were leading the St. Louis police department's Explorers program for young people interested in law enforcement careers, while Fitch was leading the county's program.
"He was very dedicated to youth, especially disadvantaged youth," said Fitch, who led the St. Louis County Police Department from 2009 to 2014.
"He wanted to see them succeed.
"He wanted to be a role model for those young men and women to go into law enforcement."
Dorn's personality was "bigger than life," Fitch said.
"He was a fun guy, a happy guy.
"You never had to wonder what he was thinking when somebody did something incredibly stupid like a crime because he would just say it as he saw it."
When he took over as chief in Moline Acres, Dorn made it clear that his officers would be held to the strictest of standards, Fitch said.
"He wanted them to do the right thing all the time," Fitch said.
The Ethical Society of Police, which has represented black officers in St. Louis, commented in a news release that Dorn was "the type of brother that would've given his life to save them if he had to."
St. Louis police Chief John Hayden called Dorn a "fine captain."
"Many of us, the other officers, looked up to him," Hayden added.
"Was very well-liked, very pleasant, and his wife still works here.
"So, a very sad time for our agency. We will honor him."