suntimes
SOGGY 
Weather Updates

14-year-old ‘hero’ saves nephew after stepdad kills mom, sister, brother

Article Extras
Story Image
Maps

Updated: March 5, 2014 6:09AM



A 14-year-old boy heroically tried to wrestle a revolver from his stepfather, who had just killed the boy’s mother and 17-year-old brother, late Sunday night in south suburban Robbins.

The boy awoke Sunday night to a loud pop and found his brother Steven on the kitchen floor with a fatal gunshot wound to his head. The boy’s stepfather, Michael Worsham, 43, was standing over the body.

The boy ran upstairs to his mother’s room, where she was asleep in bed with his 5-year-old nephew. Worsham chased the 14-year-old into the bedroom, dragged his wife, Michelle Ollie, 42, from the bed, and fatally shot her, police said.

Then the boy tried to disarm Worsham. During the struggle, Worsham told him: Stop fighting me and you can leave here with your life.

The boy grabbed the 5-year-old and as they fled the small brick home, Worsham’s 15-year-old daughter, Trisdion, who also was home at the time, joined them. But she collapsed on the front stoop when Worsham shot her in the back, police said. Seconds later, he shot her again at close range. Worsham also fired at least one round at witnesses outside before dragging his daughter’s body back inside the home in the 13600 block of South Pulaski.

Police officers arrived on scene about 10:40 p.m. After trying unsuccessfully to make contact with anyone inside the home, officers forced their way in and found Worsham lying on his bed. He was pronounced dead a short time later, possibly from a heart attack, authorities said.

Officers encountered a gruesome scene inside the home.

“Seeing the very tiny house just covered in blood, I don’t even know how to describe it,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said. “The 14-year-old was a phenomenal hero.”

Investigators were at a loss to explain the shooting spree. The family had no record of domestic abuse, police said.

“I’m a father. I cannot imagine what could bring someone to such a dark place where they would believe that they need to take the lives of their entire family,let alone children,” Robbins Police Chief Mitchell Davis said at a news conference Monday morning.

Jerry Doss, a spokesman for Thornton Township High School District 205, said Michael Worsham worked as a security guard at Thornton High School. He said Worsham was a contractor with U.S. Security Associates.

Ollie, who married Worsham 12 years ago, was a child-care worker at Sadie Waterford Manor, an emergency shelter for kids across the street from the Worshams’ home, said Denice Gathings, a manager at the shelter.

“She was a beautiful person, always helping, always volunteering. I had to threaten her to take her vacation. She was very dependable,” Gathings said.

On Sunday morning, the couple had stopped by the home of Worsham’s second cousin, Toni Gardner, who lives across the street, for a cup of coffee.

Gardner said they laughed and chatted about getting a snowblower. Worsham said his wife was planning to make hot wings for the Super Bowl, she said. “He was not a monster,” Gardner said.

The couple met while growing up in Chicago and though they had an on-again, off-again relationship, Gardner said they always got along and even visited each other while married to other people.

“No one knows what led to this. It’s so baffling,” Gardner said. “This is really a mystery. There was no kind of abuse that I know of going on. Everybody is in shock. We’re trying to piece this together.”

Gardner said Worsham, who was about 6 feet tall and weighed about 270 pounds, loved his Honda motorcycle and he loved to eat.

The mood at Shepard High School in Palos Heights — which the three older children attended — was “very sad,” Principal Josh Barron said.

“They were good, kids, caring kids and well-liked,” he said.

Friends and classmates of the slain teenagers gathered outside the Worsham family home Monday night for a prayer vigil.

Khalid Brown, who had math and social studies classes with Steven, said he “didn’t believe it” when he heard his friend was dead. He said they spoke each day, and among the topics they discussed was finding money to attend college.

Contributing: Donna Vickroy, Steve Metsch , Mike Nolan and Sue Lafferty



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.