OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Police are still looking for the person who shot and killed an Overland Park teen Wednesday night, but officers say before he was killed, Ben Workman saved lives.
“I wish it would have been me versus my brother,” Jordan Middleton said.
When Middleton and his other brother heard their youngest brother was shot and killed, they flew to Kansas to help their mother handle the situation.
“End of the world for a moment for me,” Middleton said. “I just couldn’t imagine — if somebody knows something, I just want them to know to imagine it was their family member.”
Police say Workman lived in an apartment near 80th and Farley in Overland Park. Around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday he realized there could be danger. He told his girlfriend and others to hide in a bathroom.
“I can’t say very much, but I know that my son saved his girlfriend and a few of his other friends,” said Ben’s mother, Amy Workman. “My son died saving his friends, and his girlfriend that he loved.”
Neighbors say they heard a gun go off, and then saw two men running down the complex stairs. But Workman died before police got there.
“That’s how my son is,” Amy Workman said. “I don’t even know what to say anymore — is, was — I don’t know. My son had a beautiful heart.”
Workman attended Olathe East High School and was finishing his education independently while working. His mother said he moved into the apartment just weeks before the shooting, and the whole family doesn’t understand why someone would do this to him. His family and friends say he was funny, caring, and intelligent.
“I think it could have been avoided,” Middleton said. “Nobody deserves to die. I don’t care who you are. It makes no sense to me.”
Now his family members are left with holes in their hearts.
“My heart is like split into three, and my other two boys have the other two parts, but a third of my heart is gone, and I don’t know how to repair that,” Amy Workman said.
The family is asking anyone with information to come forward. They say Ben did the right thing. Now they hope a witness will, too.
“My son is, was, a beautiful man, and he loved his family. He loved his brothers. He loved me. He loved his girlfriend, and I don’t understand why it’s happened the way it has,” Amy Workman said.
Police say they are following up on leads but have not identified a suspect at this time.
They ask anyone with information that could lead to an arrest you are asked to call Overland Park police or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477. There is up to a $10,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction. You can remain anonymous.
The family is navigating funeral arrangements for Workman and have set up a Gofundme page to assist with expenses.