CHICAGO — A 16-year-old bragged to a friend about the slaying of 24-year-old Chicago police officer Aréanah Preston after the shooting, prosecutors allege.
Judge David Kelly granted the prosecution’s request for no bail Wednesday afternoon, citing a “mountain of evidence.”
Several new details were provided during the hearing — including a timeline which Judge Kelly called a “violent crime spree” prior to holding Travell Breeland, 19, Joseph Brooks, 19, Jakwon Buchanan, 18, and Jaylen Frazier, 16, without bail.
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.
Here’s a timeline of four alleged robberies between the time of midnight and approximately 1:30 a.m.
- 900 block of East 46th Street — 32-year-old woman was robbed of her belt, phone, wallet and credit cards after the four exited the white Dodge pointing handguns.
- 4600 block of South Indiana — A red Kia Forte was stolen at gunpoint as the two girls stayed in the Dodge. Prosecutors believe the group ended up setting the Kia on fire after it was used in the deadly shooting of Preston.
- 10030 block of South Wallace — Prosecutors allege the group drove around “looking for people to rob.” At around 1 a.m., at least three members of the group got out of the Kia and pushed a 62-year-old woman and her son’s girlfriend to the ground. The 62-year-old’s purse and cell phone were taken.
- 9100 block of South Merrill — Two members of the group got out of the Kia and approached a man sitting in a Tesla. His keys and cell phone were stolen and later recovered in the 9800 block of Stony Island.
The group then made their way to the area of 81st and Blackstone at around the same time Ofc. Preston was coming home from her shift at CPD’s 5th District, still in uniform.
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.”
Nine other shell casings were determined to be fired from the same firearm and one shell casing is still undergoing testing.
After the shooting, prosecutors allege the group abandoned the Kia in the 7200 block Eberhart in a vacant lot — which was allegedly set on fire approximately 15 minutes later.
Later in the day, evidence started to come together.
Police talked to the girlfriend and the white Dodge was towed. In the Dodge, authorities said credit cards were found belonging to the first victim in the alleged spree.
Authorities allege 16-year-old Jaylen Frazier called a friend and bragged about the shooting.
“It was my work,” Frazier allegedly told the friend after asking if they had “seen the news about the cop,” according to prosecutors. Later in the conversation, Frazier said Brooks was the one who fired back at Preston and ultimately killed her.
Frazier would later go on to admit that he stayed in the car when the group went to rob Preston, while Breeland, Brooks and Buchanan got out of the car, and Brooks inevitably shot and killed Preston, prosecutors alleged.
After the call, the friend went to the police.
The arrests were made early Monday morning after Buchanan allegedly called a former girlfriend and got into a rideshare. In the 7600 block of South Bishop, a traffic stop was conducted on the rideshare Sunday night. Prosecutors allege Buchanan was wearing the belt belonging to the first victim of the alleged spree at the time of the arrest.
As he was being taken into custody, Buchanan allegedly screamed and alerted others in the group in a nearby residence. After a long SWAT standoff, the rest of the group was taken into custody.
All four had criminal histories.
Brooks had convictions for armed robbery, robbery and a carjacking dating back to 2019. Buchanan has a pending case that’s still open from a 2021 aggravated vehicular hijacking and is on juvenile probation from a robbery.
Breeland is currently on adult probation for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and was convicted of aggravated battery as a juvenile.
Frazier has a pending armed robbery case where he was committed to the juvenile jail. It’s unknown when he was released.
All four are being held without bond.
“I stand before you today as a mother— as a heartbroken mother,” Preston’s mother said after the hearing.
Preston was set to graduate with a master’s degree in Law from Loyola University Chicago this Saturday, May 13 — with dreams one day of joining the FBI.