JEFFERSON CITY, MO. — The family of the late St. Louis City Police Captain David Dorn testified in front of lawmakers Tuesday night, in hopes of naming a part of the highway in Dorn’s name.
Two state lawmakers want to honor Dorn by designating a roadway in the St. Louis area in his honor. Dorn was murdered in June by a looter outside a pawn shop in north St. Louis.
One of Dorn’s sons spoke out for the first time Tuesday night since his father’s death.
“This is my first public statement since the death of my dad,” Kielen Powell said, while fighting back tears. “My dad not only built bridges culturally, but he built bridges between law enforcement and the community.”
It was a night of emotion as Dorn’s family testified in front of the House Special Committee on Criminal Justice.
“He died doing what he loved, and he died a hero,” Dorn’s wife Ann told lawmakers. “I want his legacy to never be forgotten.”
Rep. Shamed Dogan, R – Ballwin, and Sen. Steven Roberts, D – St. Louis, both are sponsoring legislation to designate a highway in the St. Louis area in Dorn’s name. House Bill 1363 is being carried by Dogan and would name a portion of Interstate 70 from Shreve Road to Kingshighway Boulevard in Dorn’s name, while Robert’s bill, SB 520, designates a portion of State Highway 180 from Interstate 170 to Kienlen Avenue.
“It’s the very least I think we could do to honor his memory and to show we have Captain Dorn’s back and the back of his family,” Dogan said. “I was just struck when he was murdered.”
Dorn was shot and killed by a looter on June 2, 2020.
“My father was murdered outside of Lee’s Pawn Shop,” Debrah Dorn White, Dorn’s daughter said. “He met the owner as a young patrolman while responding to a call. Over the years of working in the area, he became friends with Lee.”
Looters broke into the pawn shot amid the death of George Floyd.
“It was looting, because you can’t call it protests when somebody gets killed,” Dogan said. “It was looting that took place at Lee’s Pawn and Jewelry in the City of St. Louis which he was defending because he was friends with the owner.”
Dorn’s wife said he died doing what he loved.
“He was a mentor, role model and father figure to everyone, officers, young people, residents, regardless of race or background,” Ann said. “He even tried to go to work during our wedding reception.”
During the testimony, Dorn’s children say he was one of a kind.
“He was so fun to be around,” Dorn White said. “He had an infectious personality that if you ever met him, you would never forget him.”
Brian Powell, another one of Dorn’s sons, played a video of his dad on his wedding day.
“You got married today, I wish you and your wife Vanessa the best,” the video said. “There’s going to be some high moments and there’s going to be some low moments, when you hit the low moments, think of all the high moments you’ve had. Always believe in God and when you can’t turn to anybody else, you can always turn to him for anything.”
Brian told lawmakers he was married on June 2, 2001, exactly 19 years before his dad was shot and killed.
He explained how people across the Midwest know his dad and the hero he was.
“Your dad is a hero, an American hero,” Brian told committee members. “Now just a hero to the community of St. Louis but an American hero.”
Kielen said his dad was known for helping people get jobs, getting people out of trouble and putting them on the right path.
“I believe that every time I drive by and see a sign, I’ll look at it and realize I do have big shoes to fill,” Kielen said while holding back tears.