Off-duty Chicago police officer killed in Avalon Park always wanted to be a cop, father says

  • Areanah Preston

    Areanah Preston

Updated 5/6/2023 5:20 PM

A Chicago police officer 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" was shot to death early Saturday near her home in Avalon Park on the city's South Side.

Areanah Preston, 24, was getting home from work when she was shot at about 1:42 a.m. on the 8100 block of South Blackstone Avenue, according to the Chicago police and the Cook County medical examiner's office.


The shooting happened during a stickup that might be related to another nearby robbery, according to law enforcement sources, who said Preston's gun was taken. Police radio traffic shows the city's gunshot-detection system ShotSpotter registered nine rounds in the area.

Preston, who worked in the Calumet District, has been with the Chicago Police Department for three years.

Her father Allen Preston, who lives in Los Angeles, described his daughter as a "beautiful soul" who "always saw the best in people" and had long desired to become a cop. To him, her calling seemed more like destiny since he and his ex-wife had a police escort to the hospital before she was born.

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