Family, friends mourn fallen Chicago Police Officer Aréanah Preston

Wednesday, May 17, 2023
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CHICAGO (WLS) -- Family, friends, and colleagues said their final goodbyes to fallen Chicago Police Officer Aréanah Preston Wednesday.

The anguish of one of her sisters could be heard outside Trinity United Church of Christ on the South Side, as Preston's casket arrived.

The three-year veteran of the force and 24-year-old was shot and killed while returning home from work nearly two weeks ago.

Officer Preston was remembered as a rising star dedicated to public safety.

"Rest peacefully, baby. Momma's got it from here," Preston's mother Dionne Mhoon said.

Her former Cmdr. Tyrone Pendarvis, former Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Mayor Brandon Johnson, fellow officers and her mother spoke during her funeral.

"Her gift will live forever," Johnson said. "God thank you, God bless the city of Chicago."

Her visitation was held Tuesday night, just 10 days after she was shot and killed while in uniform in front of her home in Avalon Park. She was walking into her home after work.

Preston died a week before receiving her master's degree from Loyola University's School of Law. Her mother accepted her diploma on her daughter's behalf.

She was also waiting for a final interview to start at the FBI Academy.

"She could have been anything with her passion and her drive, and she chose to serve on the Chicago Police Department. So, today, we mourn, we remember and we honor her," interim CPD Superintendent Fred Waller said.

Her death touched so many in the community.

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"This just proves how senseless these crimes are and not just because she was a police officer.... people are waiting for you to come home at night to just rob you and do things of this nature to you," mourner Ernesta Ware said.

"I was really sad. I cried. It's just really unfortunate that that had to happen. She was such a nice young lady," attendee Esther Hope said.

Officer Preston had many nicknames regarding her petite frame, but above all else was her character, compassion and dedication to serve.

"The last 11 days have been so surreal. We still can't believe that she's not here, still waking up every day, hoping she would call us back," CPD Officer Lesley Butler said.

"We love you Aréanah," CPD partner Officer Jessica Scott said.

Loyola presents posthumous master's degree to family of fallen CPD Officer Aréanah Preston

Four teenagers, ages 16 to 19, have been charged with her murder.

"We lost a light. We lost someone who was very special, so it's very hurtful," former interim Chicago police Superintendent Eric Carter said.

Preston was expected to be buried at Lincoln Cemetery in a private service.

The Brotherhood For The Fallen hed a fundraiser after Officer Preston's funeral with all proceeds going to her family.