Two Charged In Slaying Of Off-Duty Cop

CHICAGO (CHICAGOPRESSRELEASE.COM)  — As he spoke about the killing of one of his own Friday, Englewood District police Cmdr. Keith Calloway cast the tragedy in easy-to-understand terms: “A class act” taken out by “no-good lousy punks.”

Calloway had more harsh words for the men who allegedly killed Officer Thomas Wortham IV, who was shot during an attempted robbery Wednesday night in Chatham outside his parent’s home: “These are just some very bad people doing very bad things.”

Late Friday, first degree murder charges were announced against two of those men: Paris McGee, 20, of the 6300 block of South Ada, and Toyious Taylor, 29, of the 4300 block of South Lamon.

Each were also charged with one count of attempted armed robbery with a firearm, Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said.

Taylor was arrested Thursday night during a traffic stop, while McGee turned himself in that day after “relentless pressure’’ from detectives, Weis said. The men will appear in bond court Saturday.

A third suspect remained hospitalized late Friday. “If he survives he will be charged,’’ Weis said.

Another suspect, 20-year-old Brian Floyd, was shot dead at the scene.

McGee was arrested on a weapons charge last year after police spotted him with a .45-caliber handgun. He pleaded guilty to felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and received 18 months’ probation, court records show.

Floyd was arrested in 2007 after police saw him toss a gun to the ground; he then kicked an officer who tried to arrest him, records show. Floyd pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon charge and he was sentenced to two years’ probation.

Weis praised the cooperation from the community in providing leads in the case.

“The community wanted to solve this case,’’ he said.

He also hoped Wortham’s parents could take some solace in the arrests.

“I hope the quick resolution of this case lessens the pain for his family,’’ he said.

Weis late Friday would not say which of the men allegedly shot Wortham, 30, and offered no further details of the attack.

Police have said Wortham was killed when several people approached him outside his parent’s home in the 8400 block of South King Drive and tried to steal his new motorcycle. Wortham’s father, a retired Chicago police officer, came to his son’s aid and shot two of the attackers, killing one of them, police said.

Earlier Friday, Wortham’s fellow officers said the police station had become a place of “heavy hearts.” The district lost Wortham less than a year after Officer Alejandro “Alex” Valadez was killed in a drive-by shooting.

“Basically, it’s a kick right in the heart,” said Officer Kevin Spisak, who attended the police academy with Wortham.

“Tom was a natural-born leader,” Spisak said. Slogans such as “Be all you can be” may have been empty words to some, but not to Wortham.

“This is how he lived his life,” Spisak said.

Wortham, a military veteran who had recently returned from a second tour of duty in Iraq, was eager to get back to police work — requesting the district’s “busiest watch,” Calloway said.

“I’ve never seen a guy with that kind of energy, with that kind of zeal for life,” Calloway said.

Several times Friday, Calloway expressed shock at reports that somehow Wortham lost his life as part of a dare or a game undertaken by his attackers.

“I’m truly at a loss to explain how someone gets killed playing a game,’’ Calloway said. “This is not PlayStation. There is no reset button.’’ He added: “How do you raise a child so that they go out and play a game and kill somebody? It’s irresponsible, it’s shameful, it’s pathetic, and I hope they rot in hell for it.”

Read the original article from WBBM News Radio.

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