4 Charged With Murder in Killing of Chicago Officer Aréanah Preston – NBC Chicago

Four teens have been charged with murder in connection with the killing of Officer Aréanah Preston, who was found shot to death near her Avalon Park home over the weekend, police announced Wednesday.

Trevell Breeland and Joseph Brooks, both 19; Jakwon Buchanan, 18; and a 16-year-old, who will be charged as an adult, face first-degree murder charges in the fatal shooting, along with additional charges for armed robbery, arson, burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle and unlawful use of a weapon, authorities said.

“These individuals went out looking for victims in the overnight hours of Friday into Saturday morning and are connected to multiple robberies in a motor vehicle theft earlier that morning,” said Interim Chicago Police Supt. Eric Carter.

Preston, 24, was off-duty but still in uniform as she returned home from her shift at the time of the shooting early Saturday morning. However, the department on Monday said it will rule Preston’s killing as a “line-of-duty death” — a move that will bring additional benefits to the fallen officer’s family.

In the first description of what happened that night, police alleged the four teens got out of a vehicle and ran towards the officer, with one person firing a gunshot. Preston returned fire and as gunfire continued was shot before one of the teens then took her gun and fled the scene, police said.

According to authorities, Preston at 1:40 a.m. Saturday was found with gunshot wounds near her home by a fellow officer who had responded to a call of a traffic crash in the area. It is believed Preston’s watch may have alerted authorities.

Preston was rushed by a squad car to the University of Chicago Medical Center where she succumbed to her wounds, officials said.

Police said the four charged had committed several other armed robberies and a motor vehicle theft shortly before the shooting. Prosecutors said additional details would be released at a bond hearing Wednesday afternoon.

“I ask that everyone continue to pray for Aréanah’s family as they navigate this world without her,” Carter said. “While we know this does not ease the pain, we hope that knowing the people responsible for her murder have been caught brings a small measure of peace to them. While Aréanah is not physically here with us, her spirit and service of kindness will carry on and we will never forget her.”

According to officials, Preston had been with the department for three years and worked in the city’s West Roseland neighborhood.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said during a press conference Saturday that she spoke with the officer’s family, who is “completely shattered.”

“I won’t speak for her mother,” Lightfoot said, “but I can tell you that she poured everything she could into her child. No mother wants to wake up to the tragic news their child is dead and to something as awful and tragic as gunfire.”

Lightfoot said she directed Carter to “spare no expense to make sure we find the people responsible for this and bring them to justice.”

The National Association of Colored Women’s Club posted a photo of Preston, saying, “Aréanah was a light who smile brightened any room. She continued to lift as she climbed by serving and protecting her community as a Chicago Police Officer for the last three years.”

Loyola University also released a statement on Preston, who was set to graduate with a Masters Saturday.

“The Loyola University Chicago community mourns the passing of Aréanah Preston, a graduate student in the School of Law and Chicago Police Officer, who passed away [Monday],” the statement read. “Officer Preston was scheduled to graduate on May 13 with a Master of Jurisprudence.”

“At Loyola, Officer Preston will be remembered by her faculty and classmates for her kindness, intellect, and commitment to service,” the statement continues.

The Fraternal Order of Police recognized Preston with a post, saying “she died taking police action,” and “we will prepare to honor her fully and properly.”

Soruce : https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/4-charged-with-murder-in-killing-of-officer-areanah-preston-in-chicago/3138246/

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