A retired police captain was shot and killed by looters as he tried to defend his workplace early on Tuesday, authorities have said.
David Dorn, 77, suffered a gunshot wound in his torso about 2.30am on Tuesday. He died shortly after on the footpath outside the business, Lee’s Pawn & Jewelry.
The store had been looted, and the shooting was recorded on a live stream on social media, according to Fox News.
Widespread violence and looting has been reported in numerous cities across the US, as protests sparked by the killing of African-American man George Floyd by white police officer Derek Chauvin eight days ago sparked outrage in the US. The killing of Mr Floyd has led to protests in at least 140 US cities as people call for justice, and many protests have spiralled into chaos.
Mr Dorn was remembered by the Ethical Society of Police, an organisation for African-American police officers. They described the retired captain as “the type of brother that would’ve given his life to save them if he had to”.
St Louis police officials said Mr Dorn had been killed after he responded to an alarm system in his business that looters activated, according to Fox News.
“David Dorn was exercising law enforcement training that he learned here,” said St Louis Police Chief John Hayden.
Reports suggested it was the second night his business had been targeted by looters. Nobody has been arrested over the killing.
Mr Dorn worked at the shop and was friends with the owner, his wife told reporters. She was too distraught to comment further.
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A disturbing series of videos has revealed shocking violence against police officers as unrest spread to more than 70 American cities over George Floyd’s death.
On Monday night four police officers were shot in St Louis and several officers were run over in other parts of the US.
“Some coward fired shots at officers and now we have four in the hospital, but thank God they’re alive,” St Louis Police Chief John Hayden told reporters during a press conference about 1.45am Tuesday (local time).
He said two officers were shot in the leg, one was shot in the foot, and one more was shot in the arm.
“I don’t think anybody understands why this mayhem is going on across the country,” he said.
“I don’t know what else to say,” Hayden said. “This is horrible.”
Meanwhile, an officer in Las Vegas was also shot, and in other parts of the country, footage emerged of several police officers being run over .
In one incident that reportedly happened in the Bronx, in New York city, shocking video shows a car ramming a police officer in an apparent hit and run.
In a separate incident, footage shows an officer being run over as looters make their getaway in Greenwich Village.
In Buffalo, also in the state of New York, two officers were injured when a SUV drove through a group of police officers.
Hundreds of looters have caused “anarchy” in the city of New York and police have struggled to maintain law and order.
Disturbing images also emerged from across the nation including hundreds of men wielding baseball bats and other weapons in the streets of Philadelphia.