Article

Name: Soderberg, Thor
Star: 14767
Memorial Panel #: 9
Rank: Police Officer
District / Unit: Education and Training Division District
End of Watch: 07 July 2010
Incident Details: Police Officer Thor Soderberg, 43, was an 11-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Education and Training Division. On July 7, 2010, Officer Soderberg participated in a weeklong police operation called Operation Protect Youth. The program was taking place in the Target Response Unit’s facility located at 6120 S. Racine Ave — former Englewood District Station. At approximately 3:45 p.m., Officer Soderberg finished his shift and proceeded to walk to his vehicle in the deployment’s parking lot. The officer was approached by Bryant Brewer, 24, and a physical altercation ensued. During the struggle, Brewer was able to disarm and fatally shoot Officer Soderberg. Then, Brewer stole his gun and left the officer to die. Moments later, Brewer opened fire in what appears to have been an attempted-armed robbery of a civilian. Officers heard the gunshots and ran out of the building where they discovered Brewer and exchanged gunfire with him. Brewer was wounded, but recovered. Officer Thor Soderberg died at the scene. Bryant Brewer has been charged with first-degree murder and is awaiting trial. Officer Soderberg’s memorial service was held in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago. The U.S. Army Veteran is survived by his wife, Jennifer; sisters, Diane and Vanessa; and his brother, Fred.

39 Comments

  • RIP

  • RIP brother

  • This comes with deepest sympathy for his family.

    We have the best police in the world and we apprciate his good work.

    I took his wife’s advice and am going to become a big sister and try to encourage a young one.

  • To the Soderberg family,
    My deepest and most sincere condolences. Nobody know how it feels to lose someone until you have. (and I have) The only thing I can say is (that is proven true) Time heals all wounds. (or at least makes them easier to deal with) (they never go away) My brother-in-law is a Chicago Police Officer and I myself work for a Police Dept (suburbs) and nobody could ever imagine something so horrible occuring but now days there is no respect for what we do. I hope your family finds peace and can someday move past this. When I lost my brother it was so hard to think, but in the end after everything settled, I was happy that I had what time I had with him as opposed to none at all.. the things we cherish are their belongings, their scent which wont be around for long, photo’s, video’s, and most of all the memories. You’ll find yourself laughing one day, although it may seem far away it will happen. (when something is really funny) And there will be days that you cant seem to go on. Faith comes and goes during this time so try to hang onto what faith you have. Lastly, talk to him, the way you used to do when he was there in front of you. (I truely believe he can see and hear everything you say) and again, my condolences to you all for your loss.

  • A part of me died today, as it has for the last 29 years when, like Thor Soderberg, a Chicago cop gave his all. God Bless PO Soderberg as well as his family. They will always be in my prayers.

  • God be with you Officer Soderberg. Your service and sacrifice to the City of Chicago will never be forgotten. My deepest condolences to the Soderberg family for this tragic loss. The support of Chicago Police officers will forever be there for your family.

  • Our deepest sympathies go to the Soderberg family and the Chicago Police Department on their loss of Officer Soderberg.

  • We were partners in the 006th District. We became good friends. We enjoyed policing and helping others. We often laughed about many things that we encountered as partners. He was a wonderful person, true at heart. He will be deeply missed.

  • Our hearts are sadden, to hear the loss of another brother in blue.
    May the Lord accept u home with open arms!

  • May God be with you and your family brother in blue.

  • I can only say this about Officer Thor Soderberg

    It’s not how they died that made them heroes; it’s how they lived their lives

    Thor lived a very honorable life and that should be what people remember about him.

  • My love, thoughts and prayers go out to Jennifer, Thor’s parents, siblings and nephews. I know my world has been turned over…I cannot imagine what you are going through.

    I have so many wonderful memories of all the things Thor and I did together. I am very happy that we had been able to reconnect over the past couple of years. I am also very happy that he had you Jennifer. He needed someone very special that understood him. He was very unique…and stubborn at times.

    I miss him. I am sorry that he was not able to meet my daughter. She would have loved him, too. Thor helped me in so many ways and was there for me when I had my stroke. He would come after work, lie down next to me in the hospital bed. It was such a comfort. Thor still had a large piece of my heart and I am thankful for all the memories. I will hold them dear.

    Please feel free to call me. I left a message at the house. If you need anything…I will be there.

    Love,

    Tina

  • PO Soderberg was one of my training officers at CPD Academy a little over a year ago. When I heard the terrible news, I could picture so many conversations and scenario’s that we had done together. He was a fabulous person, and an even better police officer. Everyday I go to work, I use something that PO Sederberg has trained me to do. I can never thank him enough for all of his knowledge that he has passed on not only to me, but all officers that were lucky enough to be taught by him at CPD Academy.

    God bless PO Sederberg, his family, friends and all that knew him.

  • God bless the family of officer Soderberg. May God watch over his family, friends, and fellow officers.

  • I grew up with Thor in Skokie, IL. Together we attended grade school, junior high and Niles North High School (Class of ’85). He was a kind and gentle soul, and he will never, ever be forgotten. His classmates will work with his family to set up a yearly fundraiser, and donate the proceeds to the charity named for him as well as the C-Different foundation. We will all strive to be the kind of person he was. It will be difficult, as his humble heroism is very hard to come by.

    Thor led a life under the radar when we were young – always funny, artistic and kind – but still under the radar; not the center of attention. He obviously led a similar life as an adult – and I’m sure he would have been happy to have his career, retire quietly and live out his days in peace. Well, now that we’ve lost him, we will NEVER let the world forget him.

    Thor, we will try to take up where you left off. You will always be a hero to me.

    • Hi Barb. I served with Thor in Alaska with the 562nd Combat Engineer Company. When I read your post stating he used to write to you when he was stationed at Alaska. My heart dropped I was so hoping this wouldn’t be the Thor Soderberg I knew but sadly it is. I saw his current pic, but keep in mind I haven’t seen him since he invited me to visit him in Seattle with his sister Vanessa July 87. The eyes never change. Everything everyone says is true. he was exactly the same. kind, and gentle man. He loved riding his motorcycle around anchorage . He was dating a lovely girl in Anchorage I wonder if this is his current wife. I asked Thor if he would ever reenlist he said no. Then when I told him Roger Blanks had become a police officer, I asked him if he would become a cop Thor said no. This is the reason why I had a hard time believing, or denying that this was him. I read all these posts and I see only someone like Thor can leave beautiful memories and love in people’s hearts . Here is my cell 7143819227 Johnny G.

  • To the family:

    Peace be with you and family………..God bless and hold you and family in loving care………… Truly, Irene Maria Godinez

    Submitted by Maria Osborn on Fri, 2010-07-09 09:45.

    My Deepest Sympathy to “The Soderberg Family” and his Wife. May he rest in peace……..

  • God Bless Officer Soderberg’s family, police family and friends. I pray we find comfort by remembering how Thor lived his life to the fullest and how he respected his duties as a police officer! R.I.P. Thor!

  • As a Law Enforcement officer myself, reading this story makes me extremely sad and angry. Rest in peace Thor, I hope and pray your killers spends the rest of his scumbag life in jail! I am constantly shocked and outraged at the violence our societys are creating. We need harsh sentencing and MORE police and MORE resources to prevent another officer from being injured or killed.

    Bless you and your family.

    Chelsea of Australia

  • To the Family of Officer Thor Soderberg and The Chicago Police Department,
    My thought and prayers are with all of you. I also wanted to express my deepest sympathies to all of you as well. God bless Officer Thor Soderberg.

    Debbie Daly

  • We here in Indiana stand with Thor’s Family, Friends and Fellow Officers.
    Kindly pass our condolences to the family of Thor.
    We share your grief and sorrow.

    Regards,
    Glen Wheat
    Indiana State Representative
    Great Lakes Regional Conference
    BK IN XIII, President
    PGR Indiana
    FOP IN 87

  • If you find it’s me you’re missing, if you’re hoping I’ll return.
    To your thoughts I’ll soon be listening, and in the road I’ll stop and turn.
    The the wind will set me racing as my journey nears its end.
    And the path I’ll be retracing when I’m homeward bound again.

    Bind me not to the pasture, chain me not to the plow.
    Set me free to find my calling and I’ll return to you somehow.

    In the quiet misty morning when the moon has gone to bed,
    When the sparrows stop their singing,
    I’ll be homeward bound again.

    Thor, you are sorely missed.
    God Bless you and keep you in the palm of his hand.

  • Our sincere sympathies and prayers to our fallen brother and his family. We are sadden by the loss of another fellow officer.

  • I would like the family to know that my prayers are with them in this time of sorrow. Officer Soderberg was a great person. When I heard about this, my heart dropped because I couldn’t believe it when they announced that this happened to Soderberg. When one of our own leaves us in violence, it’s very overwhelming. I will continue to pray for his family and remember to always pray and keep GOD first. He is the healer of all things. May you rest in peace Officer Soderberg. You will be missed but never forgotten.

  • Thor was a genuine person and friend. He will truly be missed by all who were blessed to have known him.

  • I was good friends with Thor back in high school. Even though we went to different schools we became close friends. We wrote to each other when he was stationed in Alaska. He was a kind decent teenager who loved his family, his dog AJ and his friends. Although we lost touch over the years I never stopped caring and thinking about him. He has touched many lives and will live on in our hearts and memories. I am deeply saddened about his loss.

  • My condolences to the Soderberg Family; may Thor rest in peace, knowing that he died in the line of duty, and he served the public well. And may the thug who shot him drop dead and rot in hell.

  • To The Family Of Officer Soderberg,My Thoughts And Prayers Are With You In Your Time Of Need,God Bless And Keep You. And For His Family At CPD, I Am A Praying Person And Every Twenty-Four-Seven When I Say A Prayer For My Loved Ones I Say One For CPD(The Good Guys In Blue). Englewood Is A Very Stressful Place For A Older Person Like Myself,Everyday Is A Job Looking For Someplace Else To Move!!!!!!!! But My Bet Is On The Man In Blue, Take All The Garabage-Out!!!!!!!!!!!! BE SAFE

  • P/O T. Soderberg will not be forgotten. Unfortunately, another one of Chicago’s Finest has fallen. Rest in peace. My deepest condolences to his Loved ones and friends. Even though I did not know him personally, I have nothing but the atmost respect for the choice he made to become a Chicago Police Officer and keep this city protected. He will be missed!

  • I met Thor when I started using the Millennium Park bike facility a number of years ago. Thor was a bike patrol officer at the time stationed at the facility. He was the first cop I met when I started using the bike station. A very nice, gentle guy, always had time to talk and share a laugh or a story. He spent a lot of time talking bikes with the guys in the repair shop and those of us who hung out at the bike station while going to and from work. Thor was also a strong bike rider as I rode with him on a few occasions down the lakefront while he was heading out on duty with his fellow officers.

    Thor had a good, gentle soul. That was clear even in the many brief encounters I had with him over many months.

    My condolences to Thor’s wife, his family and friends and his fellow officers, many of whom I know down at the bike station. I share your heavy hearts.

    Thor will be missed by all who knew him. He was a special person and the world is a lesser place without him.

  • My deepest sympathies to my Chicago Police Family and the family of Officer Soderberg. Our family is just looking back over the 40 years since my uncle, Sgt. Jim Severin, was shot and killed in July of 1970……and now another officer killed. My heart sank when I saw the front page of the Chicago Tribune this morning. As a Gold Star Family member I dread the addition of new members to our group. My heart is heavy as Chicago prepares to bury another hero of the streets. I have to admit my son, who is a U.S. Marine serving in Japan is far safer than our men in blue. How sad, how so so sad…..

    Jean Severin-Cabel
    Niece of Sgt Jim Severin
    Killed in the Line of Duty
    July 17, 1970

  • You will be missed! Your laughter was enlightening and your spirit strong. Never a day were you angry or annoyed. Your light hearted spirit will be remembered, my brother. Rest in Peace, we will carry the watch now.

  • Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. May the blessings of love be upon you, May its peace abide with you, May it’s essence illuminate your heart, Now and forever more. We will forever remember Officer Thor Soderberg as one of our own. We mourn with you in your loss.

  • I believe the job as a police officer has become so insignificant to people. It appears that some people are heartless, fearless and have no respect for life. Is it because, that is the life,they live? Life is a gift, and an honor, we as human beings have to start living and loving again. My deepest sympathy go go to his family. I know it is almost impossible to live without your loved one. God will heal his wife’s and family’s heart.

  • Even up here in Toronto, the loss of an officer is felt. Whenever a cop is assaulted or killed, it’s an assault on us all. Please let us know if there’s anything that can be done for the family, and please let them know that this message comes from as far away as Canada – our hands DO stretch across the world. Sincerely, Mark Dewdney Rescue One, Toronto

  • I only knew Thor for a short time while at the Academy and worked with him once on a previous Operation protect youth but I’d like to share with you my impression of the man from those brief encounters. He was a well respected Homeroom instructor who cared deeply for his recruits and they he. Thor was a quiet, unassuming man who when outside would where these dark black sunglasses that made him appear rather intimidating but nothing could be further from the truth. While talking to a friend and coworker yesterday we were reflecting about our different experiences with Thor and my friend shared the following story with me. He said that he had been working with Thor when he and his class attended a training at the Holocaust Museum. There was an older gentleman there that was a Holocaust survivor who approached Thor and looked at his Uniform cap. The man told Thor that he really liked Thor’s hat. Thor removed the hat from his head and handed it to the man and said, it’s your hat now. I was told that Thor made quiet an impression on all the staff at the Museum. I’m sure Thor made an impression on all those fortunate enough to have met him. I know he did me. God Bless you Thor. You will be missed but NEVER forgotten!
    Mike

  • I did not know Officer Soderburg but he is one of Chicago’s Finest. As with any family loss, there is associated pain and grief which I feel as a result of losing a brother from the Chicago Police Department family. My heart is extended along with prayers for the wife and family. The family of Officer Soderburg are in our prayers and if we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at 773 793-8907, 312 672-9637 or by email. Please know, “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal”. May the blessings and comfort of the Lord be with you during this time of bereavement. God Bless.

  • Your name didn’t ring a bell, however, the image of your face brought back a pleasant memory of my recent time spent at the training academy. The rushed hello while passing in the hallway was no indication of your caring spirit. I saw you a number of times following that encounter and was graced with your illuminating smile and the words “Hey officer, nice to see you again.” I would just like to say to you: “Hey Officer, the pleasure was all mine. The caring spirit you carried throughout those four walls will be missed!”

  • My heartfelt sympathies are extended to Mrs. Thor Soderberg, the Soderberg family and the Chicago Police Department. It is with a heavy heart that I remember what the moments of this tragedy feels like. I pray for strength for the family and the Department and I pray for the world to stop the daily attacks on human life. I participated in a Caps community prayer vigil yesterday at noon in Morgan Park and I will continue to pray and watch for you and our citizens.

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We Will Never Forget