Loved Ones in Shock After CPD Officer Shot to Death Over Weekend – NBC Chicago

Chicago Police Officer Areanah Preston was shot and killed over the weekend in the city, and as authorities take suspects into custody, her family is expressing their shock that a 24-year-old’s life was snuffed out so suddenly.

Preston’s death has now been ruled as occurring in the line of duty, news that’s providing small comfort to a family that’s still coping with immeasurable loss.

Norma Mhoon-Harris, Preston’s aunt, spoke to NBC 5’s Evrod Cassimy about the tragedy.

She says she first knew something was wrong when she recognized the address of the deadly attack on a local newscast.

“I said ‘whoa. That is her,’” she recalled. “I was dumbfounded. I said ‘I can’t believe this.’”

She spoke at length about her relationship with Preston, saying that her niece was a ray of sunshine that brightened the days of everyone around her. She is still in shock that anyone would shoot the young officer.

“She was a lovely person and personality,” she said. “She was outgoing, she was going for her master’s degree, and was getting it on Saturday.”

Mhoon-Harris texted her brother, who is Preston’s stepfather, and said that she has not yet heard back from him.

“I know he’s hurting,” she said.

She also had a message for Preston.

“Your auntie loves you,” she said. “And whatever happened to cause this kind of devastation, I wish it would go away.”

Several prayer vigils are planned for this week in honor of Preston’s life. There has been no word on funeral arrangements at this time.

The family’s shock comes as police continue to investigate the attack. SWAT officers were called to a scene Sunday night in the 7600 block of South Bishop Street. Authorities say that after a long standoff, at least five individuals have been taken into custody, and while charges have not yet been filed, the investigation remains ongoing.

Preston was found near her home at approximately 1:40 a.m. Saturday by a fellow officer, who was responding to a call of shots fired in the 8100 block of South Blackstone Avenue.

Preston, who had recently gotten off-duty, was rushed to an area hospital, where she died from her injuries.

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