A 24-year-old St Louis man has been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a retired police captain who died on a night of violent protests while trying to protect his friend's pawn shop, the city's prosecutor announced.
Stephan Cannon was being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge in the death of David Dorn, 77, who was killed Tuesday on the sidewalk outside Lee's Pawn and Jewelry.
Dorn's last moments were caught on video and apparently posted on Facebook Live, though the video has since been taken down.
Dorn's 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 burgled or damaged, including a convenience store that burned.
The unrest came as cities across the US have seen protests and violence since George Floyd died May 25 after a white Minneapolis officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for several minutes, even after the handcuffed black man stopped moving and pleading for air.
St Louis circuit attorney Kim Gardner announced the charges on Sunday.
According to a police probable cause statement, Cannon was among those seen on surveillance footage entering the store and then stealing several televisions, The St Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Dorn, a friend of the pawn shop's owner who was in the habit of checking on the business when alarms went off, arrived at the store. Cannon then walked toward the street corner with a gun in his hand.
"At the time the shots were fired, [Cannon] was the only person standing at that corner," the probable cause statement reads. "Multiple plumes of smoke" can be seen coming from where Cannon was standing, and shell casings were found on the spot, police said.
Cannon also faces several other charges including robbery and felon in possession of a firearm.
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'A FINE CAPTAIN'
David Dorn served 38 years on the St Louis police force before retiring in October 2007. He then became chief of Moline Acres, a small town in St Louis County.
"He was very dedicated to youth, especially disadvantaged youth," said Tim 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 represents black officers in St Louis, said 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 said. "Was very well-liked, very pleasant. And his wife still works here. So a very sad time for our agency. We will honour him."