UPDATE: Chicago Police have taken suspects into custody. Read more.
CHICAGO – A Chicago police officer who had just gotten off work was shot and killed Saturday morning right in front of her home in the Avalon Park neighborhood on the South Side of the city, according to authorities.
The officer was identified as 24-year-old Areanah Preston. She suffered gunshot wounds about 1:45 a.m. at 81st and South Blackstone in Avalon Park and was rushed to University of Chicago Hospital in the back of a police patrol unit by responding officers. Sadly, she did not survive, Interim Chicago Police Superintendent Eric Carter said, FOX 32 Chicago reported.
Carter confirmed that Preston had just gotten off work. He did not offer further details about who is suspected in the shooting at a press conference held a few hours after her death.
Investigators are trying to determine if Preston was specifically targeted as a police officer, or if it was a random robbery/homicide. Sources said multiple shots were fired and the officer’s duty weapon and badge were missing, FOX 32 reported.
Loyola University said that Preston was scheduled to be awarded a master’s degree in jurisprudence from the School of Law next week, the news outlet reported.
“Our University community is shocked and saddened by her tragic passing,” school officials said in a statement. “She will be remembered by her faculty and classmates for her kindness, intellect, and commitment to service. We wish to express our deepest condolences to the Preston family and to all those whose lives she touched.”
Officer Areanah Preston was shot and killed on the 8100 block of S Blackstone.
We're told she recently finished her master's degree and is relatively new officer for the Chicago Police Department.
Circumstances around the shooting remain unclear and many rumors are floating… pic.twitter.com/4WdtNyhlm2
— 16th & 17th District Chicago Police Scanner (@CPD1617Scanner) May 6, 2023
Preston was currently assigned to CPD’s 5th District. Dozens of officers accompanied her body in a solemn procession as she was transported from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office.