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A retired police chief was checking on his friend’s store in St. Louis in the early hours of Tuesday morning when he was shot, and as he lay bleeding to death on the sidewalk, his final moments were broadcast live on Facebook.
David Dorn, a 77-year-old black man, was shot in the torso about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday while responding to an alarm at Lee’s Pawn & Jewelry at 4123 Martin Luther King Drive, to the north of St. Louis city center. St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden told a press conference Tuesday that the store was being looted, and that Dorn was shot “during the looting process,” but no arrests have been made.
The shooting occurred during another night of protests against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and elsewhere in St. Louis on Monday night, four police officers were shot. Dorn, who retired from the St. Louis Metro Police force over a decade ago, was not wearing a law enforcement uniform when he was shot.
The live video on Facebook has now been taken down, but copies of it continue to be shared on Twitter.
The disturbing video, reviewed by VICE News, shows someone pulling up to the scene in a car just after the shooting happened. The person gets out of the car, saying “Stay with me, stay with me.”
Dorn, who is sprawled on the sidewalk holding his phone, is still alive when the video is being taken and can be seen moving his head — but the person taking the video does not appear to call 911.
State Rep. Rasheen Aldridge said he saw the broadcast and was horrified by it. “I just seen a man die on live man! Smh,” he wrote in a Facebook post. Another Facebook user pointed out that no one appeared to help Dorn.
“It’s one thing to be a victim of a robbery/assault, but to lie in your own blood pleading for help and no help comes other than people standing around on FB Live recording his death,” Marquaello Futrell said.
The National Fraternal Order of Police condemned the killing and said it was “deeply disturbing that his killing was streamed live on Facebook.” Dorn’s family has not commented on the Facebook Live video.
Facebook did not immediately respond to questions about the video and the account that posted it.
Dorn was a 38-year veteran of the St. Louis police department who retired in 2007 as a captain. After leaving the St. Louis police department, Dorn became the police chief of the small town of Moline Acres. His wife continues to work as a sergeant with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
The Ethical Society of Police, which represents black officers in St. Louis, said Dorn was “the type of brother that would’ve given his life to save them if he had to. Violence is not the answer, whether it’s a citizen or officer. RIP Captain!”
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted about Dorn’s death on Tuesday night, blaming “despicable looters” for his death.
Police said they have made no arrests in the case. Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of Dorn’s killers.
"The fact that he was protecting and serving, this is the way, I feel in my heart of hearts that he would have liked to leave this earth," Dorn's son, Brian Powell, told KMOV4.
Cover: A man walks past a burned convenience store Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in St. Louis. On Monday night people were seen removing items from the store before the building went up in flames and after a large peaceful protest against the death of George Floyd who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25 had ended. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)