St. Louis K9s get ballistic vests emblazoned with tribute to murdered police captain

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ST LOUIS, MO – Out of darkness comes the light, as the saying goes.  Retired St Louis Metropolitan Police Department Captain David Dorn was shot and killed by looters this summer while he was protecting a friend’s business.  The shooting was livestreamed and went viral. 

Captain Dorn’s family received recognition from the President during Independence Day celebrations at the White House.

Now, Captain Dorn is being honored in another way; a matter of lifesaving efforts for St Louis MPD K-9 dogs.  K-9 officers Nitro, Niko, and Body have been equipped with bullet- and stab-protective vests, thanks to the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

On each vest is embroidered:

“In memory of Captain David Dorn, St. Louis, MO- EOW 6/2/20”

Captain Dorn was 77 years old when he was shot in the early morning hours of June 2, 2020, after a long night of violence in St. Louis. He died while protecting his friend’s pawnshop in north St. Louis.

More information from KMOX St Louis:

“Each vest has a value of $1,744-$2,283 and weighs an average of four to five pounds. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 4,101 vests to K-9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.”

Here’s more information on this great non-profit from their website:

“Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c(3) non-profit whose mission is to provide bullet and stab-protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the country.

Since 2009, our organization has donated:

  • More than 4,100 K9 ballistic vests
  • 1,300 K9 opioid reversal NARCAN Kits
  • More than $152,000 of K9 medical insurance premiums through our Healthcare for K9 Heroes program
  • Over $67,000 in K9 medical first aid kits
  • Three Chevy Tahoe patrol vehicles custom fitted for a K9 Unit valued at over $50,000 each

All of our programs are made possible with funds raised through contributions, grants and fundraising events.”

In reference to Captain Dorn, please allow us to refresh your memory on the incident and investigation.

Captain Dorn was shot and killed on June 2, 2020. 

On June 5th, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Section released surveillance footage to the public to provide clues and evidence in their investigation of David Dorn’s death. 

The video captured a total of seven suspects trespassing at Lee’s Pawn and Jewelry at 4123 Martin Luther King Drive in north St Louis. The footage was taken on June 2nd from 2:13 a.m. to 2:16 a.m.

All suspects in the video had their faces concealed. Six wore masks, and one had a white shirt wrapped around his face and head.

At least two of the men were seen armed with handguns. One person pulled his handgun to target the entrance before joining the others. Another suspect had a cut on his left palm.

The reward for additional information that could capture the criminals was originally $10,000, but nearly $57,000 was pledged for information by the end of the investigation.

On June 7, 2020, a 24-year-old suspect,  Stephan Cannon, was arrested. He faces charges of first-degree murder, robbery, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  

As of June 18th, a total of six persons had been charged, two for murder and four for burglary and stealing.

Dorn’s widow, Ann Marie Dorn, told reporters that her husband was a friend of the owner of the store and would routinely check on the business when the alarm would go off. 

She later spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention about her husband’s death.

The former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Finch called Dorn a “true public servant”.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson tweeted that Dorn and George Floyd should not have died, saying that the ensuing violence and criminal activity needed to stop.

The Ethical Society of the Police, an organization which supports black police officers in the United States, commented:

“(Dorn) was murdered by looters at a pawnshop. He was the type of brother that would’ve given his life to save them if he had to. Violence is not the answer, whether it’s a citizen or officer. RIP Captain!”

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LET Unity

Little kid donates more than 260 vests to K-9 Officers: “He just wants to help save lives.”

September 4, 2020

CLEVELAND, OH – Brady Snakovsky, an active ten year old, helps raise money to outfit bullet proof vests for K9 officers through Brady’s K9 Fund. So far, he’s donated 264 vests to canine officers.

Brady has become a bit of a philanthropist/celebrity since he first founded Brady’s K9 fund in 2017.

He was chosen as Ellen DeGeneres & Cheerios One Million Acts Of Good winner, GoFundMe Kid Hero 2018, and ASPCA Kid Of The Year 2019, and One of Cleveland Magazines Most Interesting People in 2020. He’s been on the Steve Harvey Show and the Kelly Clarkson Show.

But this all started with Brady watching television.

Brady’s favorite shows are Live PD and Dirty Jobs according to Brady’s K9 Fund webpage. One day, he was watching television, and he saw a dog on television who wasn’t wearing a bulletproof vest. He didn’t understand why the dog wasn’t wearing a vest, or why they weren’t automatically issued.

His mother, Leah Tornabene, explained to Fox 8 News:

“He noticed a dog on television who wasn’t wearing a vest and he wanted to go out and buy a vest and give it to a K-9 who was in need on one.”

The only problem was that each vest costs $1,200.

Brady decided to raise money for a bulletproof vest for a police dog. That was over two years ago.

Now, he’s raising money to try to help as many police dogs as possible, to get the life-saving bullet proof vests. He partnered with the LOF Defense Systems, and because of his charity work, the manufacturer offers Brady the vests at the same cost as law enforcement.

He’s helped K-9 officers all over the country, and even in Canada.

The most recent recipient of one of these special vests is the Bedford Police Department K-9 Luca.

The Bedford Police Department said:

“We can’t thank Brady enough for what he has done for us and every other K9 he has vested.”

Brady wants to be a police officer when he grows up.

Brady’s K9 Fund has over 2,500 likes on Facebook, and nearly 6,600 followers on Instagram.

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