"The entire department is saddened beyond belief," Weis said hours after Bryant Brewer, 24, was charged. "The entire city should be enraged."
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.
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."
To a lot of folks, that is the real tragedy. The officer at least had a means of defending himself. All the bystander could do was await execution.For me, that is far more of an outrage, Chief.
Oh and not for nothin' but the next recruit trainer should be one who can focus upon the need for a decent enough RETENTION HOLSTER. The man died because some nut was able to easy as you please waltz up to him and use his own gun to kill him. Single biggest potential pitfall of open carry and one that cannot be harped on nearly enough. I understand that for public sampling the Chief and others have to pound away at the tragedy aspect, but here we have an open and shut case of officer malfunction.
Use this man's death to save others. Ask Bianchi to make the Soderberg Retention Holster in honor of a beloved cop who should still be alive today. And TEACH the kids what open carry is all about.