A Game of "Dare" Led to Off-Duty Officer's Death

Three suspects in custody, one dead

By Susan Rivera and Anthony Ponce
|  Friday, May 21, 2010  |  Updated 11:17 AM CDT
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Police Supt. Weis, Neighbor React


Thomas Wortham IV was killed for his motorcycle.

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Police Supt. Weis, Neighbor React

An off-duty Chicago Police officer is killed in an armed robbery on the city's South Side.
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The four men who tried to steal a police officer’s motorcycle at gunpoint were playing a deadly game of dare, the mother of one of the suspects who died in the firefight said.

Lucille Floyd, whose son Brian, 20, died when Thomas Wortham shot and killed him in front of his Chatham home, said Brian and three other suspects went out Wednesday for a night of drinking, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Somehow, she said, their revelry turned into a game of dare between the four men – all with criminal records – to see who had the stones to rob a man at gunpoint.

Soon they happened upon Thomas Wortham IV, an off-duty police officer and Iraq war vet who was visiting his parents. The four men approached him with guns drawn and demanded he hand over his Yamaha R1 motorcycle, police say.

Gunshots rang out. Wortham IV fell dead. His father, Thomas, joined the fight and shot two suspects, killing one and critically injuring another.

Two others fled.

By Thursday night the two missing suspects were in custody. A 20-year-old Marquette Park man with a minor criminal record for a gun charge turned himself in Thursday afternoon at the Harrison District police station, officials said. 

The fourth was apprehended during a traffic stop Thursday night. No charges have been filed yet.

Meanwhile,  Chicago Police Officers gathered Friday at the 7th Police district  to mourn their fallen brother.

"What a blow to our community," said District Commander Keith Calloway. "Tom was truly a class act. I've never seen anyone with that kind of energy and zeal for life.

I'm truly at a loss for words. I cannot describe my pain, anger and anguish over this."

Calloway said the men who tried to rob Wortham are "no good, lousy punks."

Other's said his father did was in the right when he shot the suspects.

"I had the pleasure of working with his father," said Seargent Rich Dowling. "And his father did the right thing. He raised Tom well."


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