Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 10 years, 11 months, 5 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Bureau of Professional Standards: Unit 124 - Education and Training Division
District of Incident (Present Day): 007 - Englewood
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 43
Date of Birth: 18 Feb 1967
Date of Appointment: 02 Aug 1999
Date of Incident: 07 Jul 2010
End of Watch: 07 Jul 2010
Date of Interment: 12 Jul 2010
Cemetery: Woodlawn Cemetery - Forest Park, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Cremated
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-9
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 9
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 5, Line 15
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 19-E: 27
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Police Officer Thor Odin Soderberg, Star #14767, aged 43 years, was a 10 year, 11 month, 5 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to Bureau of Professional Standards: Unit 124 - Education and Training Division.
On July 7, 2010, at 3:40 p.m., Officer Soderberg was participating in a weeklong police operation called Operation Protect Youth. The program was headquartered out of the Targeted Response Unit's facility located at 6120 South Racine Avenue, the former Englewood District Station. At approximately 3:45 p.m., Officer Soderberg finished his shift and proceeded to walk to his vehicle in the facility's parking lot. While he was changing out of his uniform from his trunk, Bryant Brewer, age 24, of 5814 South Wolcott Avenue approached him and a physical altercation ensued. During the struggle, Brewer was able to disarm and fatally shoot Officer Soderberg. Brewer then took Officer Soderberg’s 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 passerby. Officers heard the gunshots and ran out of the building. They saw Brewer and exchanged gunfire with him. Brewer was wounded and later recovered. Officer Soderberg died at the scene and was pronounced dead by Dr. Rios at 5:25 p.m. on July 7, 2010. He was transported to the Medical Examiner's office by CFD Ambulance #55.
Bryant Brewer was arrested and charged with 1st Degree Murder. He was tried and on August 4, 2015 was found guilty of 1st Degree Murder with no allowance for insanity. He was also found guilty on three counts of Attempt Murder of an additional three Peace Officers: Sergeant Kusinski, Police Officer Thorp and Police Officer Casey. On September 23, 2015, Brewer was sentenced to natural life in prison on the charge of 1st Degree Murder. On the charge of attempted 1st Degree Murder he was sentenced to 100 years for each officer for a total of 300 years. On the charge of disarming a Peace Officer he was sentenced to 15 years. On the charge of Attempted 1st Degree Murder and Armed Robbery of a witness he was sentenced to 50 years in prison. In total Brewer was sentenced to Life in Prison plus 365 additional years in prison.
Officer Soderberg was waked at Malec & Sons Funeral Home located at 6000 North Milwaukee Avenue, his memorial mass was held on July 15, 2010 at the University of Chicago: Rockefeller Memorial Chapel located at 5850 South Woodlawn Avenue, was cremated on July 12, 2010 at Woodlawn Cemetery, 7750 Cermak Road, Forest Park, Illinois.
Police Officer Thor Odin Soderberg, born February 18, 1967, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 2, 1999 and he attended the Jackson Street Police Academy. He earned 1 Department Commendation, 15 Honorable Mentions and 7 Physical Fitness Awards during his career. Officer Soderberg previously worked in the 6th District and the Bicycle Patrol Unit.
Officer Soderberg served in the U.S. Army and was Honorably Discharged. He was also a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. Officer Soderberg was survived by his wife, Jennifer Lynn (nee Louden), age 37; mother, Aura Evelia (nee Gonzalez) and siblings: Diane Sainsot, Fred and Vanessa. He was preceded in death by his father.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #HS398722.
On January 18, 2011, Officer Soderberg's star was retired by Superintendent Jody P. Weis and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.