Chicago police officer, 24, shot and killed right after shift ended and a week from earning master’s degree: ‘She was going to be the force of change’

Chicago police officer, 24, shot and killed right after shift ended and a week from earning master’s degree: ‘She was going to be the force of change’

A 24-year-old Chicago police officer was shot and killed just after her shift ended early Saturday morning.

Around 1:40 a.m. on Saturday, Chicago Police Department officer Areanah Preston was shot multiple times following her shift on the city’s South Side. Fellow officers rushed to the Avalon Park neighborhood and found Preston suffering from numerous gunshot wounds. Officers administered life-saving treatment. Then Preston was loaded into a police vehicle and rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center – where she was pronounced dead.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported, “The shooting happened during an apparent stickup that officials believe might be related to another nearby robbery, according to law enforcement sources, who said Preston’s gun was taken.”

Fellow police officers gathered at the hospital to show support for the slain cop, and there was a police procession taking Preston’s body to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

There were no arrests in the murder of Areanah Preston.

Preston was described as someone “trying to make a change on this Earth” and to show “young people that policing is a profession that can make a difference in the community.”

Professors of Preston at Illinois State University said in a statement:

Areanah stood out the moment we met her. She was an intelligent, thoughtful, and committed young woman. She was an old soul in that she already understood the challenges of minoritized populations, about the lack of justice in these communities and she was going to be the force of change. She already knew that she was going to dedicate her career, her life to the improvement of relationships between police organizations and minoritized populations. Areanah wanted to be the officer who would speak for the most vulnerable in society. She wanted to be the one who would care for the most vulnerable. She cared and she wanted better for everyone.

Preston was set to graduate Loyola University Chicago next week with a Master of Jurisprudence degree.

“She will be remembered by her faculty and classmates for her kindness, intellect, and commitment to service,” the university said. “We wish to express our deepest condolences to the Preston family and to all those whose lives she touched.”

Just days before her murder, Preston shared her last post on Instagram with her cap and gown. She posted the Isaiah 41:10-12 Bible verse.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all.

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