Chicago Officer’s Family Sues Pawn Shop Over Death
The family of a Chicago police officer who was killed in a shootout has filed a lawsuit in federal court this week against a Mississippi pawn shop that sold the gun used in the shooting, according to court documents.
The suit was filed by the family of Chicago police officer Thomas Wortham IV, an Iraqi war veteran who was shot in front of his parents’ Chatham neighborhood home in 2010.
Named as defendant in the suit is Ed’s Pawn Shop and Salvage Yard, the Mississippi pawn shop where the Smith & Wesson handgun was sold illegally in a “straw” purchase in May 2007 to a gun trafficker, who then sold the pistol to a street gang in Chicago.
A straw purchase involves a buyer without no criminal history buying a gun for a person who would not pass a criminal background check.
Four gang members shot and killed Wortham using the illegally purchased handgun during an attempted robbery of Wortham’s motorcycle.