Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cop killer suspect caught hiding in car; Two suspects in custody, one killed, one injured

The fourth and final suspect sought in the shooting death of an off-duty officer Wednesday night in the Chatham neighborhood was taken into custody Thursday night during a traffic stop on the city's West Side.

A third suspect turned himself in at the Harrison Street District yesterday afternoon around 4 p.m., police said. He was accompanied by his attorney.

A detective familiar with the investigation confirmed that the fourth suspect was picked up during a traffic stop near Jackson Blvd and Oakley Blvd at 9 p.m.

He was a passenger in a vehicle that went through a stop light. Police said they were suspicious when they found the man triying to hide in the car. He was taken out and identified.

He's now at Area 2 police headquarters being questioned in the armed robbery which killed Chicago police officer, Thomas Wortham IV.

A second source said the driver may have purposely driven through the red light to arouse police suspicion.

The third suspect turned himself into the 11th police district at Kedzie Avenue and Harrisond Street around 4 p.m. Thursday. Police said he was accompanied by his attorney.

Both are at Area 2 right now.

A police official tells me he doesn't know when charges will be approved, but said the it was an intensive investigation and they were still questioning the suspects.

"We're hoping it's soon," said the police official.

In the meantime, Leak & Sons Funeral Home-Chicago on South Cottage Grove Avenue will be handling the funeral.

A spokesperson said they are handling Officer Wortham's body, but the family is still making arrangements.

He couldn't confirm what a source told WGN-TV that the wake would be next Thursday followed by a Friday service.

The funeral home is located at 7838 South Cottage Grove Avenue Chicago. The funeral home is known for its service to police officers and often performing free services.

30-year-old Thomas Wortham IV was a three-year veteran of the force working out of the Englewood District.

Police say Wortham was leaving his parents home Wednesday night when four men approached the officer in their vehicle and tried to steal his new motorcycle.

Wortham's father came to his son's aid, exchanging gunfire with the suspects, killing one and injuring another.

The dead suspect has been identified as 20-year-old Brian Floyd. The wounded suspect is in critical condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

A third suspect turned himself into police Thursday afternoon.

Thursday night people gathered in Cole Park to pray for Officer Thomas Wortham who was killed Wednesday night in front of his parents' Chatham home.

Four men tried to rob him of his motorcycle. Gunfire was exchanged and Officer Wortham was shot in the head.

Another group gathered in front of the 7th District where the 30-year-old officer worked.

Bikers came to pay their respects.

Both groups also had strong words for anyone who brings violence into their community.

Alderman Freddreena Lyle of the 6th Ward said she was very familiar with Wortham and his family.

She said the officer had just finished his second tour of duty in Iraq. She also said he was president of the Cole Park Advisory Council, a group concerned with maintaining safety at Nat King Cole Park located at 85th Street and South King Drive. She said the officer was heading efforts to get residents to "take back the park" by planting their lawn chairs there this Saturday. Lyle spoke about the slain officer.

"He was someone we held up as an example of a young person who came back to his community. He was willing to work to better it. He was there all the time. This is a tremendous loss," she said. "We were going to have an event this Saturday to take the park from the thugs after a shooting happened there a month ago. I don't think we'll have it now."

Lyle said she talked with the officer's family at Christ Hospital where Police Superintendent Jody Weis had announced the officer's passing.

"It has been very difficult for the mother and the father. He witnessed it, so it's especially difficult. It's just tragic."

A source said, "It appears at this time the city will give the off-duty officer full honors in handling his death."

At a news conference at City Hall this morning, Mayor Richard Daley offered his condolences to the family and friends of Officer Wortham.

"We think of him serving not only our city, but our country." He added, "All of our hearts are saddened, and we'll pray for his family and all members of the Chicago Police Department."

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