CHICAGO — A balloon release vigil was held on Thursday to honor the life of Chicago Police Office Aréanah Preston, who was shot and killed over the weekend.

Hundreds joined Preston’s family and friends at the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center in Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood Thursday evening.

“Aréanah always saw the best in everything,” Dionne Mhoon, Preston’s mother said. “She had so many goals (and) dreams. She was a super kid.”

During Thursday’s vigil for Officer Preston, her mother shared how deeply hurt she is, but said she has plans to meet with leaders in Washington D.C. to make changes, so that her daughter’s murder is not in vain.

Preston was set to graduate with a master’s degree in Law from Loyola University Chicago on Saturday, May 13 — with dreams one day of joining the FBI to further a career investigating sex crimes, according to Loyola Law Professor Sara Block. Loyola University Chicago will posthumously confer Preston’s Master’s degree with her mother, Dionne Mhoon, accepting the degree on her behalf.

Along with a huge crowd of family and friends, the chaplain of the statewide chapter for the national association for colored women offered prayer for Officer Preston’s family before a large number of balloons were released into the sky.

Preston’s mom is not only asking for prayer for her family, but for the alleged offenders.

Travell Breeland, 19, Joseph Brooks, 19, Jakwon Buchanan, 18, and Jaylan Frazier, 16, have all been charged with first-degree murder. Frazier has been charged as an adult.

In bond court, all four were held without bail — with the judge saying he could not ensure the public safety of the community after their alleged “violent crime spree.”

An assistant state’s attorney alleged the group conducted five robberies and one carjacking in approximately a two-hour time frame prior to the deadly shooting.

Just before midnight, prosecutors said Buchanan was contacted by his girlfriend and the girlfriend and another female picked the group up in a white Dodge Avenger. Prosecutors allege all four got in dressed in all black with face masks.

Prosecutors said the Kia was initially behind her vehicle as she parked, then passed her vehicle and turned on 82nd Street while Preston was standing near her home. Then, prosecutors allege three members of the group got out of the Kia and ran toward Preston.

Several muzzle flashes were visible during the exchange of gunfire with authorities determining two shell casings belonging to Preston’s firearm. She sustained gunshot wounds to the face and the neck, a prosecutor read in court.

The group got back into the Kia, but prosecutors believe one member returned to steal Preston’s firearm as “she laid dying on the sidewalk.”