CHICAGO — Former classmates and teachers gathered for fallen Chicago Police Officer Aréanah Preston at UIC College Prep Friday.
The memory of 24-year-old Aréanah Preston was honored on Chicago’s near Southwest side Friday. Balloon’s released to the heavens as friends and loved ones console one another.
Those who knew Preston filled with sorrow and loss.
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.
Hundreds also joined Preston’s family and friends at the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center in Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood Thursday evening.
Visitation set for Tuesday, May 16 at the Blake Lamb Funeral Home. Public viewing will be from 3 to 8 p.m. The Funeral service for Officer Preston takes place at Trinity United Church of God starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 17.
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.”