Soderberg, 43, was leaving work at the police facility at 61st Street and Racine Avenue to play in a volleyball game. Brewer is accused of grabbing Officer Thor Soderberg's gun and fatally shooting him in the parking lot .
Chicago Supt. Jody Weis said today he "simply cannot understand" how the man charged with gunning down an officer "can have such a total disregard of life."
"The entire department is saddened beyond belief," Weis said hours after Bryant Brewer, 24, was charged. "The entire city should be enraged."
Click to view image: 'e403af84669e-374279666bintrr_fsx.jpg'Brewer is accused of grabbing Officer Thor Soderberg's gun and fatally shooting him in the parking lot of a police facility in Englewood Wednesday afternoon. He was shot and wounded by officers and remains at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
Brewer was denied bail in a hearing before Cook County Criminal Court Judge Ramon Ocasio midday today. Brewer did not appear in Central Bond Court today because he is still hospitalized.
"I simply cannot understand how a person can have such a total disregard of life and for those who keep order on our streets that he could attack, disarm and then shoot and kill a uniformed police officer in broad daylight," Weis said at police headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave.
Weis said Soderberg, 43,
Click to view image: 'a56d542783e5-374279666bintrr_fs.jpg'was leaving work at the police facility at 61st Street and Racine Avenue to play in a volleyball game. He was an instructor at the police training academy but had been deployed to a special task force aimed at combating youth violence.
"This is the time of the day where officers breathe a sigh of relief. Their tour is over and now they get to be with their families and their friends," Weis said. "However because of the incomprehensible acts of a 24-year-old convicted felon, Officer Soderberg did not make it to that volleyball game. Officer Soderberg was killed by this vicious criminal," Weis said.
Click to view image: 'a56d542783e5-374279666bintrr_fs.jpg'The 11-year police veteran was still in uniform in the facility's parking lot when Brewer approached him from behind and reached for the officer's weapon, according to police.
During a struggle, Brewer grabbed Soderberg's handgun and shot the officer, authorities said. Soderberg was shot three times--in the head, back, and face, said assistant state's attorney John Dillon, in the hearing before Ocasio. Brewer then crossed the street, weapon still in hand, and shot at Richard Mints, a contractor sitting on a nearby porch.
After Mints was shot, Brewer also shot at the police building Soderberg had left, Dillon said today.
Officers rushed to the scene and shot Brewer during an exchange of gunfire.
Brewer did later "make an admission" to the crime, said Wentworth Area Detective Allen Szudarski.
Weis praised Englewood residents, saying 18 witnesses came forward after the shooting.
Asked about what could be done about security at police parking lots, Weis said police facilities have video surveillance, but added that little could be done to prevent such attacks by people with little regard for human life.
"There's really no level of security you can put up that will prevent a person like that from attacking someone. And unfortunately we lost an officer in this case," he said.
Weis couldn't confirm claims by Brewer's family about the suspect having a history of mental illness. "From everything we've seen so far, we have somebody who was just trying to rob and attack an individual, and that individual had to be a police officer. So I don't know what was going through this guy's head, why he would attack a police officer in broad daylight. That's something, I guess, only he will know," Weis said.
Weis praised the fallen officer, who he said had a passion for teaching police recruits. "He was as good as a police officer can be," Weis said.
A bond hearing for Brewer, of the 5800 block of South Wolcott Avenue, is expected to be held at noon. He is charged with murder, attempted murder and armed robbery.
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