Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

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

Location of Occurrence: 8157 South Blackstone Avenue

Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy

Age at Time of Death: 24

Timeline


Date of Birth: 07 Jun 1998

Date of Appointment: 2020

Date of Incident: 06 May 2023

End of Watch: 06 May 2023

Date of Interment: 11 May 1834

 

Interment Details


 Cemetery: Lincoln Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
 Grave Location: Unknown
 Interment Disposition: Burial

 

Memorial Details


Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-11

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 26

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Ceremony Pending

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Ceremony Pending

Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed

 

Service


 Military Service: Did Not Serve

 

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.

Officer Preston was waked at Blake Lamb Funeral Home, located at 4727 W. 103rd Street, Oak Lawn, IL. Her funeral mass was held on May 17, 2023 at Trinity United Church of Christ located at 400 W. 95th Street. She was laid to rest on May 17, 2023 in Lincoln Cemetery, 12300 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

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.

On September 7, 2023, Officer Preston’s star was retired by Interim Superintendent Fred L. Waller and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.

On September 9, 2023, the 8200 block of South Blackstone Avenue was dedicated as “Honorary Officer Aréanah M. Preston Way.“ One brown honorary street sign was erected. The sign was located on the Southeast corner of 82nd Street and Blackstone Avenue in the heart of the Avalon Park community on the block where Officer Preston was murdered.