Areanah Preston shooting: Persons of interest in custody in Chicago cop's death

Multiple persons of interest have been taken into custody in connection with the fatal shooting of off-duty Chicago Police Officer Areanah Preston on Saturday.

Some of the persons of interest were taken into custody after an armed standoff late Sunday at a home in the 7600 block of South Bishop Street in Auburn Gresham, according to a source. They range in age from 16 to 18 years old.

Neighbor Dorn Thornton heard officers negotiating with a person inside saying, "come out with your hands up." The standoff lasted six hours, and sources say a gun was recovered.

Preston, 24, was shot and killed around 1:42 a.m. during a robbery in front of her home near 81st Street and Blackstone Avenue in Avalon Park. She was found lying in the front yard.

"The officer picked her up, put her in the back of his car, and immediately brought her to U of C hospital where she succumbed to her injuries early this morning," said Interim Police Supt. Eric Carter said.

An autopsy found that Preston died from multiple gunshot wounds, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said Sunday.

Carter said Preston had just finished her work shift. She had worked for the department for three years.

Loyola University confirms she was on track to graduate May 13th with a Masters of Jurisprudence from the School of Law.


Dozens of Chicago police joined a procession as Preston’s body was taken from the University of Chicago Medical Center to the Medical Examiner’s office.

"I’m outraged and devastated by this horrific violence against a public servant and will do everything to support the family and CPD during this traumatic time," said Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson in a statement.

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.

Reacting to the tragedy, South Shore resident Luvenia Fields, age 73, said, "Why would you bother somebody, a beautiful young lady trying to get her Masters. It’s not worth it. Go back to school, get an education, do something besides shooting and killing. It hurts, it bleeds my heart."

There is no word from police on charges.

There is a prayer vigil scheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m. outside Area 2 Headquarters.