An organization representing Congressional Medal of Honor recipients said Thursday it plans to honor David Dorn, a retired St. Louis police captain who was shot and killed last year as he sought to protect his friend’s shop amid Black Lives Matter protests.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced that Dorn would be one of their five 2021 Citizen Honor Awardees, saying that he was “selected for his courage when he was mortally wounded while saving his friend’s business from looters.”
Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, who nominated Dorn for the award, commended the late honoree’s heroism.
“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,” Mr. Hawley said. “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.”
Dorn, who was 77, will receive the Single Act of Heroism Award for rushing the night of June 2 to Lee’s Pawn & Jewelry in St. Louis as it was being robbed by seven burglars. He was shot and killed on the sidewalk in front of the store in an incident that was streamed live on social media.
His death fueled a rallying cry against the looting, arson and violence that accompanied last year’s mass social-justice protests over the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
“His tragic death galvanized the people of St. Louis and two days later, they gathered to honor David Dorn and participated in a march to end violence,” said Mr. Hawley in his nomination letter. “The actions of David Dorn are in keeping with Missouri’s finest traditions of selfless service and reflect great credit upon himself, his community, and the entire State of Missouri.”
Two men have been charged with first-degree murder in Dorn’s death, while four others face burglary charges.
Dorn’s widow Ann Dorn, who spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention, said her husband often checked on the shop. He left that night after receiving word from the alarm company that the store had been breached.
“He was murdered by people who didn’t know, and didn’t care, that he would have done anything to help them,” she said in her Aug. 28 remarks at the convention.
Dorn spent 38 years on the St. Louis force, and after retiring in 2007, he served from 2008-14 as police chief of Moline Acres, a small town in St. Louis County.
He was the father of five and grandfather of 10, and a “well-known pillar of his community,” said Mr. Hawley.
Others receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously are Raina Neeland, 18, who died while rescuing three young cousins from drowning at a Minnesota lake, and Chris Stone, 17, who was killed as he sought to barricade a classroom from a shooter in Santa Fe, Texas.
The three will be honored at a Sept. 10 dinner at the Seaport Hotel in Boston.