A Chicago Police Department officer was shot and killed early Saturday morning on the Southside after returning from work. According to the CPD and the Medical Examiner’s office, the fallen officer was 24-year-old Areanah Preston.
Preston was reportedly shot in the 8100 block of S. Blackstone Ave. in the Avalon Park neighborhood just before 1:45 a.m., according to Chicago Police officials. No one is in custody.
Preston spent three years with the CPD and was stationed in the 5th District.
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot said she spoke with the officer’s family members in the incident’s aftermath. Lightfoot also pledged to the family that all resources would be made available to find and arrest those suspects.
It’s a sad day for Chicago. We mourn the tragic loss of yet another fallen police officer. Amy & I send our condolences to the officer’s family, friends, & CPD colleagues. Please keep them in your prayers. 🧵
— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) May 6, 2023
Mayor-elect Brandon also issued a prepared statement, stating:
“This is a profound tragedy, and my heart breaks for the family of the young officer who was murdered early this morning on her way home from work. I’m outraged and devastated by this horrific violence against a public servant, and I will do everything I can to support her family and the Chicago Police Department through this traumatic time. I pray that her killer is apprehended quickly so that justice may be served.
“That a public servant was killed in the middle of the night underlines the fierce urgency of the public safety crisis in our city. My top priority is building a better, stronger, safer Chicago where all our residents can live and work free from the threat of violence.”
Preston graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and law enforcement administration. She was set to graduate on May 13 with a Masters of Jurisprudence from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
As news of Preston’s death spread, condolences poured in on social media from the people who knew her. Preston was a member of the National Association of Colored Women’s Club at Illinois State University, according to the organization.
On Saturday, the NACWC posted on its Twitter and Facebook pages that Preston was a light whose smile brightened any room and that she “continued to lift as she climbed by serving and protecting her community as a Chicago Police Officer for the last three years.”
We are deeply saddened by the news of our very own Fed Aréanah Preston. This is something that none of us ever thought of, or prepared for. I ask that you pray for all of us during this time. For those that knew her, and for those that are just learning of her today. pic.twitter.com/dvZXuzRVKf
— Women of Enlightenment (@NACWC_ISU) May 6, 2023
The Chicago Defender will update this story as more details become available.