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Oakland Detectives Seek Sorenson’s Killer

Friday July 09, 2004

Oakland Police are continuing to seek the gunman who murdered Nyima Sorenson, a young Berkeley man, outside a tavern in Rockridge shortly minutes before 2 a.m. on June 25, said Homicide Lt. Jim Emery said Thursday. 

“We’re still working on it and following leads,” Emery said, “but we don’t have any information we’re able to release at this time.” 

Sorenson was celebrating his 26th birthday with friends and family when the gunman confronted him shortly after the group left The Hut, a bar in the 5500 block of College Avenue. 

The gunman fired one shot from close range when Sorenson refused his demand for cash. Though several of the young man’s friends gave chase, the shooter escaped.  

Sorenson died four hours later at Highland Hospital, according to the Alameda County Coroner’s office, age 26 years and six hours. 

Sorenson was a familiar figure at Berkeley High School where his mother, Madeleine Scott, serves as a counselor. While working toward his undergraduate degree at Cal, Sorenson tutored students at Berkeley High. 

Terri Goodman, a BHS counselor and friend of the family, said “all of the counselors have been devastated. We were going to be doing some work this summer, but we’ve all been too busy dealing with the grief. 

“He was the sweetest, sweetest young man. I can’t even envision him without a smile—he was always smiling, always helping people. 

“I saw him the day before, and he was out in the yard doing all the heavy gardening work for his mom. He was always helping his mom and helping others. We were at their house for Thanksgiving, and he was all dressed up in a suit because he was serving. He wanted to make it seem like a really special occasion.” 

Sorenson wanted to teach, and was scheduled to attended California State University, Hayward, to work on his teaching credential. 

“He would’ve been an awesome teacher,” Goodman said, “because the kids loved him. It’s one of those totally illogical, incomprehensible things that we lost him. He was someone so alive that it’s almost impossible to imagine he’s not there any more.” 

Friends created a small shrine near College and Lawton avenues at the site where he was fatally wounded. 

Sorenson’s parents, Madeleine Scott and Michael Sorenson, held a private memorial service earlier this week in their Berkeley home.?