"What a loss."
In three words, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart seemed to encapsulate what so many have said about a police officer who gave so much of himself to so many people.
Dart was among the hundreds of officers, family and friends who lined up under a baking July sun Tuesday afternoon to pay their respects to Officer Thor Soderberg, who was shot and killed last week outside a police building.
"When you look at what Thor did, both as a police officer, but as a human, you know, people will constantly say [that] we're all replaceable. He's not replaceable," Dart said outside the Malec and Sons Funeral Home, at 6000 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Many in attendance said Soderberg would want them to remember the good times of his life and not the way it ended.
"Thor was just an outgoing person who loved every day," said Soderber's best friend and colleague, Randy Jalloway. "He would go out and he would try to make a difference in somebody's life. Small, big, it didn't matter. He would embrace everybody. He really loved the city and loved life."
Soderberg spent most of his time working at the police academy training new officers. About 80 cadets who are set to graduate on Wednesday also turned out.
Members of the media were kept across the street, per the request of the family, to maintain privacy during the services.
A public memorial is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m. at the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, at 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave.
The man accused of killing Soderberg, 24-year-old Bryant Brewer, has a lengthy criminal record and could face the death penalty if convicted.