ST. LOUIS — Authorities in St. Louis have arrested the man they believe is responsible for the shooting death of a retired police captain who was gunned down on Facebook Live while trying to protect his friend’s pawnshop from looters last week.
Stephan Cannon, 24, of St. Louis, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, three counts of armed criminal action and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to Kim Garner, circuit attorney for the City of St. Louis, Cannon is being held without bond.
David Dorn, 77, was killed early Tuesday morning during a violent night of protests in St. Louis, where four of the city’s police officers were shot but survived. Dorn was trying to protect Lee’s Pawn & Jewelry when he was shot in the torso.
His death on the sidewalk outside the pawnshop was captured in a Facebook Live video.
St. Louis detectives also arrested Jimmie Lee Robinson, 28, of Florissant, on charges of first-degree burglary, armed criminal action and theft of $750 or more. According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Robinson’s cash-only bond was set at $30,000.
Both men remained in the St. Louis City Justice Center on Monday afternoon.
Garner said in a statement that detectives began a homicide investigation immediately after Dorn’s death.
“The investigation recovered surveillance footage from the business where the incident occurred and other surrounding businesses in the area,” Garner said in her statement.
Some of that footage was shared publicly by St. Louis police investigators. In the images, more than a half dozen people can be seen looting the pawnshop. At least two were armed with handguns.
A probable cause statement obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch indicated that Cannon was identified as one of the men entering the pawnshop and stealing several televisions. As Dorn arrived at the store, Cannon walked toward the street corner with a gun in his hand, the newspaper reported.
“At the time the shots were fired, (Cannon) was the only person standing at that corner,” the probable cause statement reads, according to the Post-Dispatch.
It stated that “multiple plumes of smoke” could be seen coming from where Cannon was standing. Shell casings were later recovered from the same spot.
The document alleged that Cannon went back to the store’s doorway after Dorn fell to the ground. A witness later told investigators someone told those still in the store they could leave.
The looters fled out a back door, the Post-Dispatch reported.
The newspaper reported that a stolen television was found where Cannon was arrested. While in custody, he admitted changing his hair and overall appearance after seeing that the surveillance footage had been made public.
The violence in St. Louis was part of protests in cities across the U.S. following the May 25 death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on Floyd’s neck for several minutes during a forgery arrest. Like the aftermath of Dorn’s shooting, Floyd’s killing was captured on cellphone video.
The protests began peacefully but grew violent overnight, St. Louis authorities said. According to The Associated Press, police officers were pelted with rocks and fireworks.
A total of 55 businesses were burglarized or damaged, including a convenience store that was burned down.
Dorn’s wife, St. Louis police Sgt. Ann Marie Dorn, told the Post-Dispatch that her husband responded to his friend’s pawnshop any time the burglar alarm sounded. He was doing so when he was slain.
The video of Dorn’s death was taken down shortly after it was broadcast, according to The Associated Press. A Facebook spokesperson told the Post-Dispatch, however, that the removal was a mistake because the video did not expressly violate the platform’s policy on violent or graphic content.
“We’re saddened by what took place in St. Louis yesterday,” the Facebook spokesperson told the newspaper. “Under our policies, the video has been covered with a warning screen but remains on the platform so that people can raise awareness or condemn this event.”
Snippets of the video remained on Twitter Monday. In the footage, Dorn lies on his back, his cellphone still in his hand.
Click here to see the disturbing footage. Warning: The video contains graphic images and explicit language.
Blood runs from his body in rivulets, pooling in the cracks of the sidewalk as he struggles to stay alive.
“Come on, man! Stay with me,” the man recording the footage cries.
He appears to scream at looters as they run away.
“All for some TVs, man?” the man shouts, telling them that Dorn was “somebody’s granddaddy.”
Dorn served for 38 years on the St. Louis police force. After retiring in 2007, he became chief of the Moline Acres Police Department.
Cox Media Group