Areanah Preston shooting: Charges expected in killing of Chicago cop

Charges are expected Wednesday morning in the fatal shooting of Chicago Police Officer Areanah Preston.

Police are holding a 10:30 a.m. press conference at CPD headquarters where they will release more information about their investigation into the shooting. That presser will be streamed in the video player at the top of this story.

Multiple persons of interest were taken into custody the past two days after an armed standoff late Sunday at a home in the 7600 block of South Bishop Street in Auburn Gresham, according to a source. 

Police believe Preston was killed in an armed robbery turned deadly. She had just finished her shift and was shot to death outside her home near Blackstone Avenue and 81st Street in Avalon Park.

Preston was with the Chicago Police Department for three years after graduating from Illinois State University. She was due to graduate from Loyola University this weekend with a Masters of Jurisprudence from the School of Law.

Preston was assigned to CPD’s 5th district at 727 E. 111th St. Many of her colleagues described her as intelligent and well-liked.


According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the wife of Chicago’s top cop, a former police supervisor coached the young patrolwoman’s high school cheerleading team and remembered her as "an absolute sweetheart."

"She always had something funny to say and was guaranteed to pass on her infectious smile," former police Capt. Saadia Carter said of Preston. "She did not deserve this!"

Preston’s aunt Norma Mhoon said in a Facebook video posted Sunday that it "weakens me to even think that she’s gone."

"She’s a very good sweetheart," Mhoon said. "A very nice person: educated, intelligent in every way, striving for her master’s, her goals and everything. She was just doing such a great job. And this happened to her. It’s unbelievable."

Preston’s killing will be considered a line-of-duty death by the department, entitling her family to additional benefits.

A prayer vigil was held Tuesday night outside Area 2 Headquarters, and more than 500 people attended, including police officers from around the city.

It was the first time Preston’s mother spoke publicly about this tragic loss.

"To think that I have to bury my baby and I poured so much into her … But God is good though," Preston’s mother said.

Area 2’s courtyard was filled with fellow officers, elected officials and family members. Preston’s mother said her daughter loved her job dearly, especially her co-workers.

District 5 Commander Tyrone Pendarvis said Preston could de-escalate situations like no other.

"She did make one arrest that day and later on when we told the arrestee what happened … the person we arrested broke down crying," Pendarvis said.

Preston’s mom said her daughter "was a goal setter. She wrote everything down that she wanted to do and she did everything she wanted to."

With tears, hugs and smiles, commanders citywide greeted Preston’s relatives one by one. Her mother asked the public to keep their family lifted in prayer.

Preston’s funeral services are tentatively scheduled for next week.