Chaz Thrailkill: The Trace Exploits a Killer to Promote Disarmament

“Here at The Trace we strive to give voice to people whose lives have been changed by gun violence. What we haven’t done, until now, is talk to people whose lives were changed because they pulled a trigger,” Deputy Editor Ben Hallman writes in the erstwhile news org’s daily email blast. “We don’t want . . .

to give a platform to someone so they can rationalize away what they have done, or make excuses for their behavior.”

Which is exactly what convicted killer Chaz Thrailkill (above) does in The Trace’s first person account of the shooting death of Steven Agee II.

It was around 1:30 a.m. when we arrived. There were 25 to 50 people in the apartment. My friend and I scanned the party for good-looking women before we retreated downstairs, where a few people were playing video games in a bedroom. While sitting in the corner, I heard a man and a woman arguing in another room.

Then I heard a big “thump, thump, thump.” Then I saw a woman on the ground at the bottom of the staircase. I jumped up from my seat and approached the woman to see if she was okay.

I saw a man, Agee, standing in the middle of the staircase. He stood at 6’1, several inches over me at 5’9. His post on the staircase made him seem even taller.

Everything from this point felt like it took place in a matter of seconds.

I began to question him about pushing the woman. He responded that he would do the same to me. He came down the stairs. I pulled out my gun. Initially, I figured I would just flash the gun and then he would back off.  My friend tried to jump in between us at that point, and Agee pushed him out of the way.

He motioned toward my weapon. I remember him saying “I’ll take that shit from you.” I feared for my life. I shot him three times in front of everyone at the party that night — once in the arm as he went for my gun and twice in the back as he fell to the ground.

I wish I could explain my reason for taking it to that extreme. Everything happened so fast. I didn’t take time to think it over. (Police reports and witness testimony generally corroborate Thrailkill’s version of events.)

The Chicago Police department only provides police reports to the public in person or by mail. So, at this point, all we have is The Trace’s word that Mr. Thrailkill’s account is “generally” accurate.

Which assumes that The Trace’s “editorial fellow” JoVona Taylor obtained the police reports, examined the witness testimony and compared the information therein to Mr. Thrailkill’s account of the shooting.

Clearly, Mr. Thrailkill is depicting his homicidal fusillade as a defensive gun use: defending a woman thrown down the stairs no less.

Scanning the news reports of the homicide, I discovered that Mr. Thrailkill fled the scene after the shooting. And that Mr. Thrailkill shot Mr. Agee “twice in the back and shot once in the arm, which then hit his chest.”

Neither of these facts are conclusive proof that Mr. Thrailkill’s account is inaccurate. But the fact that the Marine took a plea deal that puts him in jail for a minimum of 25 years makes it seem like his defensive gun use claim wasn’t credible enough to satisfy a jury of his peers.

The Trace needed Mr. Thrailkill to be an otherwise law-abiding “concealed carry killer” (even though it appears he was carrying illegally). A man who wouldn’t have killed if he hadn’t been carrying. Because, as you know, The Trace doesn’t want any American to carry a firearm (save the police).

“I killed a student at a college party. I wish I wasn’t carrying my gun that night.” That’s how The Trace’s email sells the story. In fact, despite the quote marks, Mr. Thrailkill said no such thing. Here’s what he does say . . .

“I know that having a gun might seem like the best option, especially as a black man growing up in a city like Chicago, but question whether you really need it and why.

Are you ready to take on the consequences if you shoot someone during an altercation? Are you ready to deal with the aftermath of taking someone’s life?”

Did Mr. Thrailkill really say that last bit? I doubt it. In fact, this whole story smacks of “fake news.” Then again, what did you expect from a Bloomberg-funded anti-gun agitprop machine?


  1. avatar Joseph Quixogte says:

    I also doubt the veracity of the last paragraph. The trace is purely a mouthpiece for Soros and his globalists. There are probably more people aware of what the trace says reading it here on TTAG than people who read it on their website.
    Mr. Thrillkill played a bunch of stupid games that night and won a blue ribbon of a stupid prize.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      The Trace is owned lock stock and barrel by Bloomberg, not Soros. Seems to me that Bloomie has a pretty much one track mind when i comes to guns, and without any kind of underlying “globalist” agenda..

      1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

        Your right. Just confusing two people who hate and fear freedom.

      2. avatar Terclinger says:

        “Seems to me that Bloomie has a pretty much one track mind when i comes to guns,”

        Yeah ,he gets to hire 24×7 armed bodyguards, and the rest of us can suck it.

        ” and without any kind of underlying “globalist” agenda..”

        He’s a globalist all right, He believe in open borders, and when he was mayor of NYC, he “coincidentally” got approval to open new Bloomberg News offices in Dubai and the UAE the same month he used the Mayor’s office staff to promote putting a mosque next to Ground Zero.

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    Agee was a 22 year old senior at NIU when he was shot in the back and killed by Thrailkill. He wasn’t the first student murdered on that campus, and likely he won’t be the last.

  3. Doesn’t that photo look like every computer generated composite description of a black suspect?

    1. avatar former water walker says:

      Yes. Yes it does. With a name like Thrill er Thrailkill what does one expect?

    2. avatar JawjaBoy says:

      Yep. And related to that, have you noticed the Atlanta media cabals only identify the race of a suspect IF the cops issue a sketch depicting a clear racial type? Otherwise, the talking heads only use vague wording such as, “witnesses describe the perpetrator as a young male in his early 20s,” because apparently, there are no witnesses any more that even _notice_ what race a suspect is! God forbid anyone should say the words “BLACK male” – even if they actually apply.

      Of course, I’m just engaging in BadThink, and must be “re-educated.”

    3. avatar Scoutino says:

      He sure doesn’t look like Cajun to me. 😊

      1. avatar TJ says:

        what does Cajun look like?

    4. avatar Me. Agee says:

      Not generated. That’s him!

  4. avatar Weskyvet says:

    So if I boil this down either it says “I had a pistol I was carrying illegally that enabled me to defend myself and an abused woman from her abuser.” or it says ” I was a hoodrat doing hoodrat things and murdered a guy with mah Glawk Fowty.” Either way he was gonna end up in jail but that’s his own fault. The gun didn’t make him carry it and didn’t make him shoot that guy.

    1. avatar Me. Agee says:

      The TRUTH

  5. avatar Rand says:

    Almost perfect sentence structure for a black in Chicago? I don’t believe any of their story!

    1. avatar Ms. Agee says:

      First of all it didn’t happen in Chicago! Secondly, the killer wasn’t a student at the college not did he live on Dekalb!

  6. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    With a room full of eyewitnesses to the defensive nature of the shooting and no doubt the abused girl’s testimony why didn’t he take it to trial?

    1. avatar Weskyvet says:

      He was carrying the gun illegally perhaps?

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        It is certainly a factor in the sense that it could impeach his credibility. From a pure legal perspective, the fact that he was commiting a crime of concealed carry would not convert lawful self defense to murder. So there must be more facts of which we are unaware, which the author conveniently ignored because those facts might detract from the message that if you carry a gun you are likely to use it, and that therefore carrying a gun is a bad idea. The bigger elephant in the room is that there are over 76 million licensed concealed carriers int his country, but no surege of violent crime commensurate with the sudden increase in carrying firearms.

        1. avatar Weskyvet says:

          Also he’s in Chicago… Not exactly a great place to try to fight for anything weapons related.

    2. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

      I put the word “facetious” after my comment but it didn’t appear because I flanked it with special characters.

    3. avatar Pat1991 says:

      From what I read none of the people at the event corroborated Thrailkill’s account.

      The Trace using his claims, when even his own defense team clearly did not think it would even present reasonable doubt at trial is telling. The Trace is simply using the one side of the story no one believed, and presenting it as the objective fact, in order to pursue an agenda.

    4. avatar TJ says:

      She refused to testify on the account of abuse. Besides, not everyone was in the room. Everyone has opinions, but none of you have any facts except what’s printed.

    5. avatar Ms. Agee says:

      Hes lying!

  7. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    There are at least three publications in the world that have perspectives that I dismiss preemptively because they have proven to be pure propaganda. (Actually, there are quite a few others too, but…)

    The three near the top are the old Soviet Union state-run media PRAVDA, and the current day New York Times and of The Trace.

  8. avatar rt66paul says:

    Of course he was carrying illegally. He could never get a ccw with a name like that. As a matter o’ fact, I don’t believe this ever happenned, it is fake news.

    1. avatar TJ says:

      not fake…and actually has ccw in another state, not illinois

    2. avatar Ms. Agee says:

      Im the mother of the deceased. The killers name is Thrailkill. He was 19 years old with a gun. I’m sure he wish he’d left it home!

  9. avatar Adub says:

    NIU will let anybody in and there are many non-studious people from Chicago attending. If he had a strong self-defense claim he would have fought the charge. I mean, we are talking 25 years in prison. But it seems more likely the other guy mouthed off and he drew his illegally carried gun and fired.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      …and then he fired twice more in the other guy’s back.

    2. avatar Ms. Agee says:

      Doesn’t matter about mouthing off😶🙃😞. The mouther had no gun. No weapon.
      Now the victims family and friends Are left grieving 4ever!

  10. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    “gun control laws were never intended to be applied to the white population”

    About 100 years ago the racists at the Trace, would have been more honest back then. Now it’s just, “We know better than “those kinds” of people.”
    The gun control bigots have not changed. They are still disgusting people.

  11. avatar Sprocket says:

    A leftist love in for a scumbag that claims it was the voodoo magic of the white devil’s gun that made him kill some one? I’m shocked.

  12. avatar Jae says:

    I was there … Steven was my friend. I’ve known him since I was 18. Steve has never done anything like that. It’s easy when there one side here to tell the story… we were talking about graduating from college in that kitchen… that we finally made it. But this monster took my friends life. I can’t believe I’m reading this … this many years after my friend life was cut short by the monster

    1. avatar Chris. says:

      So what’s your perspective on what happened that night?

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      We’d like to hear from other witnesses. Perhaps people who didn t know him for years and merely saw the incident. Otherwise you don’t have credibility nor are bias free.
      Official reports suggest Steve did what he did, despite your observation that he never did it BEFORE.

    3. avatar TJ says:

      monsters don’t throw their girl friend down stairs like your mr agee did. then when confronted ended up unfortunately losing his life. everyone can say they’re good law abiding and honest people. if you look in the mirror and say it enough times daily, you’ll start believing your own BS

      1. avatar Ms. Agee says:

        Let me tell you this TJ…WHAT FRICKING difference does any of it make to you, other than your stupid opinion! Chaz shot STEVEN three times, STEVEN had no gun, two of the shots were in the back after the first shot! No let your mother bhry your ignorant azz, and see how she feels about the Symantecs!

  13. avatar Tec's Dad says:

    Apparently this event took place in 2014…. check this mugshot link

  14. avatar Mr. Hand says:

    I do not know the facts of this case, and have no specific knowledge of this man’s guilt or innocence. However, I cannot allow myself to assign any particular motive or character flaw to someone solely because that person carries a weapon without a carry permit. After all, it is the constitutionally recognized right of every citizen to do so. The various state and local governments break the law by unconstitutionally restricting that right, and their courts are complicit in the disregard for the right of the citizens. That being said, I would hate to be a young black man in Chicago who used a gun in self-defense, permitted or not. The template has been set for men like him, and it is a “guilty until proven innocent” scenario. Few would read his story and give him the benefit of a doubt. However unwise, if he were innocent of murder, he would feel compelled to run. Stupidly, perhaps, but understandably.

    1. avatar Paranoid prepper says:

      To run? Maybe. To take a plea deal for 25 years in prison? Lol no way. If it happened like he said, he would have taken it to trial.

      1. avatar The Punisher says:

        That’s easy to armchair quarterback.

        Lawyers just want money, they do not really care about your defense or well being. As his legal counsel they might’ve instructed him to plea. Maybe “That’s the best deal you’re gonna get.” sorta thing. I doubt Mr. Thrailkill has the money to mount an expensive defense in a criminal trial. And the lawyers know that.

        The court and legal system is a labyrinth. It uses words and language that we do not use everyday or it uses everyday language in ways that we do not use it and so makes it easy to misinterpret. That’s why it’s all a sham. One should not need a lawyer to defend themselves in court. It should be a simple, natural thing. But the “system” has been designed to be purposefully obtuse and unnatural.

        It is merely just another tool in the arsenal that can be used with force and malice against those who are not wealthy enough or powerful enough to play within the rigged system.

        1. avatar Me. Agee says:

          He had the funds to allow his PRIVATE attorney to hold out for 3 years! Just before trial, he got the message the judge told him in the beginning (slow ass). If he was found guilty, he was getting 45 years! At the end of the day 30 years was better than 45😡😳😠

        2. avatar TJ says:

          According to records with the attorney, Thrailkill family had exhausted all funds to continue his defense. A very costly avenue to follow. Besides, witnesses there were told by parents to not get involved. Police sources alleged victim to be a gang member back in Thorton HS. I’m not saying he is….

    2. avatar Pat1991 says:

      I would hate to be a young black man in Chicago who used a gun in self-defense, permitted or not.

      Why make it about race? Young black men are shot by cops half as often as other groups per violent felony committed. By violent felony I am not talking about possessing a firearm, but using it on an innocent person.

      I certainly do not contend that racial element is genetic.

      But if black men in the age cohort 16-55 are 6% of the population and 22% of people shot by police, at first it looks like there is a bias by police. But if you consider that this 6% commits 50% of homicide, 40% of and violent felonies, and near that portion of shootings at cops — then the 22% of shootings by cops looks a lot different.

  15. avatar springfield art says:

    Brooklyn Beckham’s ‘model photo shoot’ which garnered so much commentary recently; was the 1911 .45 automatic he wielded in the photos properly registered in New York City? Or was the photo shoot in London, where pistols are pretty much prohibited across the board? Just wondering. The liberal fashion world doesn’t want Joe Q. Public having guns, but they sure do enjoy acting out with them!

  16. avatar Richard Washington says:

    I was at this party when this incident occurred. I actually came to the party with Steven. I’m not claiming Steven to be a saint but he diffinitely isn’t the guy portrayed in this article by Chaz. Steven Agee was my fraternity brother, president of our chapter at the time and on the path for a prosperous future. It a shame that people can’t use their fist anymore to resolve their differences. I don’t care what Steve did or didn’t do that night, I know that it doesn’t warrant his life being takin away from us. Steve was a good guy and respected by many. Chaz took to cowards way out and then flees the scence. He deserves everything that has come to him and more. In my opinion he got off easy cause he can still have somewhat of a life once he is released. Steve can’t and that the most important thing here.

    1. avatar TJ says:

      Stop crying…no one wants to tell the truth. telling the a lie still wont bring him back. if you were there down stairs, then you know what happened instead of what you were told

      1. avatar Ms. Agee says:

        Tj…Were you there, did you know either, what’s your interest?

  17. avatar Joy says:

    Wow. I can’t believe I’m reading this bullshit. Steven Agee pushing a woman down the stairs is a straight up lie. Keep feeding this bullshit yourself and you’ll choke.

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