David Dorn, the retired St. Louis police captain who was killed last June while defending a business from looters, has been chosen to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor Citizen Honor Award, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced on Thursday.
The citizen award, only given to a handful of people each year, was given to Dorn for his performance of an extraordinary act of courage and sacrifice on the night he was killed. Decisions on who receives the award are made by a panel of Medal of Honor recipients each year.
Dorn, one of the two recipients of the “Single Act of Heroism” award, was responding to a pawn shop robbery when he was fatally shot. His own grandson unknowingly watched a live-stream of it, unaware that the video was showing his grandfather dying.
“We would like David’s legacy to be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, colleague, and most importantly, a child of God,” said Ann Dorn, his long-time wife, in a press conference last June, reported KSDK New.
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), who represents Dorn’s home town of St. Louis in the U.S. Senate, commended the late police captain for his dedication to helping others in the community.
“David Dorn was dedicated to helping others and protecting his community, even after he retired from law enforcement and through his last moments with us. His character represents the absolute best of Missouri and this country,” said Hawley in a statement Thursday morning. “This award may be rare, but the exceptional courage and devotion of Officer Dorn is shared by his brothers and sisters in blue who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. Our local law enforcement officers deserve our sincerest gratitude for protecting our communities every single day.”
The case drew some national attention last summer but was largely overshadowed by other stories, including coverage of the unrest over the death of George Floyd, which triggered national protests and riots, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
During the Republican National Convention in August, Ann Dorne spoke about the loss of her husband and the moment she found out Dorn had died while she slept at home:
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. David’s grandson was watching the video on Facebook in real time, not realizing he was watching his own grandfather dying on the sidewalk.
I learned of all this around 4 a.m. when our doorbell rang. The chief of police was standing outside. I wondered why Dave had not answered the door. It wasn’t uncommon for him to be up watching TV at this time. I called out to him several times; there was no reply. He just wasn’t there. I let in the chief, and fighting back tears, he uttered the words every officer’s spouse dreads.
Stephan Cannon has been charged in connection with the pawn shop burglary and is facing one count of first-degree murder, among other charges.