Death Classification: Line of Duty
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 2 years, 5 months, 20 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 5th District - Calumet
District of Incident (Present Day): 004 - South Chicago
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 24
Date of Birth: 6/7/1998
Date of Appointment: 11/16/2020
Date of Incident: 5/6/2023
End of Watch: 5/6/2023
Date of Interment: 17 May 2023
Cemetery: Lincoln Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Ceremony Pending
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Ceremony Pending
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Ceremony Pending
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Ceremony Pending
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: Unknown
Incident & Biographic Details
Police Officer Arèanah M. Preston, Star #15870, aged 24 years, was a 2 year, 5 month, 20 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 5th District – Calumet.
On May 6, 2023, at approximately 1:40 a.m., Officer Preston was returning home after her shift at 8157 South Blackstone Avenue. Armed subjects confronted her, attempting to rob her. She was able to draw her weapon and exchanged shots with multiple subjects before being mortally wounded. The subjects stole her gun fleeing the scene. A report of shots fired was received by the Chicago Police Department and beat 495, Officer Schillaci #10879, was dispatched to investigate. Upon arrival Officer Schillaci discovered Officer Preston lying on the ground with an unzipped jacket and numerous gunshot wounds to her torso. Officer Schillaci observed the victim, now known as Officer Preston, was wearing a Chicago Police uniform and her firearm was missing from its holster. Officer Schillaci loaded Officer Preston into his squad car and transported her to the University of Chicago Hospital where she was pronounced dead by Dr. Benjamin at 2:25 a.m. on May 6, 2023.
On May 7, 2023, at 8:30 p.m., members of the Chicago Police Department SWAT team arrived at a home on the 7600 block of South Bishop Street. The offenders were tracked to this location after a cooperating witness was identified and interviewed by Area 2 Detectives. After an 8-hour standoff four subjects were taken into custody in connection to the murder of Officer Preston. Officer Preston’s firearm was also recovered during the incident. On May 7, 2023, at 7:30 p.m., a fifth 19-year old subject was placed into custody after Chicago Police surveillance near the scene of the SWAT incident observed him getting into an Uber near 76th Street and Bishop Avenue. A 9mm semi-automatic firearm was recovered from his person. He was also wanted for an armed robbery that occurred early Saturday morning May 5th, 2023 near 46th Street and Ellis Avenue in Kenwood.
Police Officer Arèanah M. Preston, born June 7, 1998, received her Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on November 16, 2020. She attended the Jackson Street Police Academy and was issued Star #15870 on May 20, 2021. Officer Preston earned 5 Honorable Mentions and 1 Complimentary Letter during her career.
Officer Preston was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. She was survived by her parents and twin sibling.
Incident Recorded Under Chicago Police Department RD #JG249822 Homicide First Degree, JG251349 Law Enforcement Non-Fatal Firearm Discharge and Law Enforcement Related Death.