A Missouri jury quickly delivered justice Wednesday to the family of a beloved former St. Louis police captain who was shot dead by a thug while trying to protect a friend’s business during riots and looting in June of 2020.
Stephan Cannon, 26, was found guilty in the murder of David Dorn, a 77-year-old black man whose killing became a key inflection point in the riots over police brutality that followed the death of George Floyd.
“Justice has been served,” Dorn’s family told reporters outside the courthouse in videos posted online.
The jury took just over three hours to come back with guilty verdicts against Cannon for first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, stealing $750 or more, unlawful possession of a firearm and three counts of armed criminal action.
“I’m very glad that justice was served for Capt. Dorn,” said Paul Mauro, an attorney and former NYPD inspector who has been closely following the case. “But make no mistake – the conditions that allowed his killing should never have occurred.”
Dorn was responding to a burglar alarm on June 2, 2020 at Lee’s Pawn and Jewelry, a store owned by his friend, when he confronted a pack of looters. Cannon, who was among them, shot Dorn dead on the sidewalk outside the shop in an incident the aftermath of which was filmed and briefly shared to Facebook Live. Prosecutors played it in court.
Prosecutors proved Cannon was the gunman, showing only he was standing on the nearby corner from which the shots were fired. Police later recovered a handgun, televisions from the pawnshop and pieces of Cannon’s dreadlocks from an apartment where he was staying.
Riots rocked St. Louis and a number of other major U.S. cities in 2020 following the death of Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protests devolved into riots, causing billions of dollars worth of damage to major U.S. cities. On the night of Dorn’s death, four St. Louis officers were shot and dozens of other businesses were damaged or burglarized.
Dorn’s widow, Ann Dorn, recounted the night of her husband’s death during a speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention.
“As I slept, looters were ransacking the shop. They shot and killed David in cold blood, and then live-streamed his execution and his last moments on Earth,” Ann Dorn in her August 2020 speech. “David’s grandson was watching the video on Facebook in real time, not realizing he was watching his own grandfather dying on the sidewalk.”
Dorn served 38 years in St. Louis’ Metropolitan Police Department and six more as chief of police in Moline Acres. Last year, Dorn received the Congressional Medal of Honor Citizen Honor Award, an accolade only given to a handful of people each year, for his performance of an extraordinary act of courage and sacrifice on the night he was killed.
Cannon, who will be sentenced Sept. 13, faces life in prison without parole.