Chicago police escort body of Officer Areanah Preston to funeral home

Exclusive video shows moments before CPD officer killed

Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Vigil held for slain CPD officer
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A vigil was held at the Fifth District Tuesday night for slain CPD officer Areanah Preston.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A procession transported the body of fallen Chicago Police Officer Areanah Preston to a funeral home Tuesday morning.

Multiple people have been arrested in connection with the shooting.

SEE ALSO | Prayer held for off-duty Chicago police officer killed in 'tragic' shooting near Avalon Park home

Officer Preston worked out of the Fifth District. A vigil was held there Tuesday night to honor her.

"I'm supposed to work tomorrow and I don't know how I'm going to do it," said Officer Lesley Butler.

"Everyone knew who she was and she would accept nothing less," said Fifth District Commander Tyrone Pendarvis.

Chopper 7HD flew above as law enforcement lined the streets to pay their respects to Officer Preston as her body was transported from the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office to Blake Lamb funeral home in Oak Lawn.

The long line of police vehicles with lights flashing, escorting the remains of one of their own, has become an all too familiar sight.

There was sadness Tuesday, but also anger.

Procession begins for fallen Officer Areanah Preston

"It's a tough one. Not only is she number 600 on our wall, she's more than just a number. She was a bright shining star. Her, and Andres, and Ella, for that matter, were perfect examples of where this department was headed," said police union president John Catanzara.

Police sources told ABC7 at least four people are being held in connection with Preston's murder.

The ABC7 I-Team learned two men and two women have been arrested in connection to Officer Preston's death. Charges are still pending, even as more information trickles out about what happened to the 24-year-old.

"She drove home up Stony Island. When she got to her home and got out of her car. There was some individuals who wanted to take things from her," said Sergeant Vivian Williams. "Officer Preston was able to get off a couple of rounds. She fought. She was a fighter. She fought to be a good person, she fought to do things right, she fought to help this community. She gave her all."

ABC7 obtained exclusive surveillance video from the morning of the shooting. Neighbors said the video showed Officer Preston pull up outside her Avalon Park home.

In the video, she turns off the lights to her own car and crosses South Blackstone Avenue when a dark car pulls up and stops. At least one person jumps out, then the car speeds off.

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Investigators said Preston, who was days away from graduating with her Master's degree from Loyola, laid in her family's front yard, shot multiple times.

The incident has left Preston's family and colleagues scared.

"If the goal is to go home at the end of the day and she was home, what's the end goal now? What are we doing?" Butler wondered.

The ABC7 I-Team learned that at least some of the arrests came Sunday night as SWAT teams surrounded a home near 77th and South Bishop.

"They can say they didn't know she was a cop initially," Catanzara said. "But at some point, when they took her gun and after they shot her they knew she was the police and they still robbed her basically as she was dying. Those are people that have irredeemable qualities. They need to spend the rest of their life behind bars."

"I shouldn't be standing here talking about a 24-year-old lady who did everything right," Williams said. "Then someone who maybe didn't have opportunities or weren't parented correctly. I don't know what brought that to that point. But there's gotta be something different - there's gotta be a change."

Her death is officially being considered in-the-line-of-duty, a CPD spokesperson said Monday. Officers at the 5th District plan to hold a vigil in her honor Tuesday. Her funeral is still being planned, CPD said.

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