Retired Chicago Police Sgt. Thomas Wortham III recalled in court Thursday how, with a gun in each hand, he opened fire on two men who fatally shot his namesake son, also a Chicago cop, during an attempted robbery outside his Chatham neighborhood home in 2010.
“I had a gun in both hands . . . I shot with both hands,” he said. “They both fell to the ground.”
Wortham III testified during the opening day of trial for Paris McGee, 24, and Toyious Taylor, 34, who, prosecutors allege, acted as getaway drivers for cousins, Brian Floyd and Marcus Floyd.
Wortham III said he reached his son, who was lying in the street before he died. “He told me, ‘It hurts.’ . . . I told him it was going to be alright.”
Moments earlier on the evening of May 19, Wortham IV had been visiting his parents to show them pictures of a trip to the East Coast. As his father looked on from the porch, two men approached the younger Wortham to rob him of his new Yamaha motorcycle as pulled away from the home.
One of the men pointed a gun at the younger Wortham.
“I shouted, ‘Get away from him,’” his father testified. “Get your ass back in the house,” one of the men shouted.
At that point, the younger Wortham pulled his gun and shouted he was the police, and gunfire erupted.
The elder Wortham ran inside and returned with a revolver he retrieved from his bedroom. He didn’t see the men who confronted his son. But there was a red car parked in front of his home near 85th Street and King Drive. One man was behind the wheel. Another stood outside the car with a gun shouting, “Get in. Get in.”
The elder Wortham said he pointed a gun in their direction and then the men drove off in the car. He testified that he also picked up his son’s gun from the street.
The men who originally tried to rob the younger Wortham had been hiding behind a nearby car and “popped up,” said the elder Wortham, who confronted them, opening fire until both men were wounded, on the ground and not moving.
Brian Floyd, 20, would later be pronounced dead. His cousin, Marcus Floyd, survived and is awaiting a hearing on his mental fitness to go to trial.
The father found his son down the block, where his body had been dragged underneath the getaway car as it drove off.
The elder Wortham identified Taylor and McGee in court and said that McGee, who was a passenger, fired a shot at him as the car pulled away.
McGee’s attorney did not hint at their defense argument in opening statements or in questioning the elder Wortham. Taylor’s defense attorney argued that he simply “was not present for the fatal gunshots.”
Later, Lucille Floyd, mother of the man killed by elder Wortham, testified she led police to the apartment where she and her son lived, where they discovered a red car her son had been driving. She also said her son knew the three others accused in the crime.
Police officers testifed the car had been damaged and that numerous items of evidence were recovered from the vehicle. But when court adjourned none of the evidence had yet been directly linked to the defendants.
Two months before he was killed, the younger Wortham had returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq with the Army National Guard.
Trials for both McGee and Taylor are being held simultaneously before Judge Timothy Joyce.