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Slain Chicago police officer remembered as a rising star and ‘a lion’

Aréanah Preston’s fellow CPD 5th District officers wore yellow ribbons, her favorite color, on their badges during her funeral


Aréanah was shot and killed as she returned to her Avalon Park home from a late-night shift in early May.

Chicago Police Department

By Jake Sheridan, Sam Charles
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Family, friends and fellow officers gathered to remember slain Chicago police Officer Aréanah Preston at her funeral Wednesday.

Preston was shot and killed as she returned to her Avalon Park home from a late-night shift in early May.

Mourners sobbed as the black hearse carrying Preston arrived. Loved ones held one another up.

The police ranks saluted as officers lifted Preston’s white casket from the hearse. It was draped in Chicago’s four-star flag. Preston’s fellow 5th District officers wore yellow ribbons on their badges. It was her favorite color, police said.

As Preston’s casket was carried past city leaders, including new Mayor Brandon Johnson, former Mayor Lori Lightfoot and interim Chicago Police Department Superintendent Fred Waller, silence fell over the crowd. The only sounds came from helicopters overhead and rustling tree leaves.

Police leadership described Preston as a rising star and “a lion.” Family remembered her as an “intelligent” and “happy” person.

“She was all that and more,” Preston’s grandfather told the Tribune shortly after her death. “I can’t speak about her without breaking up.”

Early May 6, three assailants jumped out of a sedan and ran toward Preston as she walked from her car to her home, according to Cook County prosecutors.

Preston was wearing her police uniform when she was attacked. The Chicago Police Department ruled her killing was a line-of-duty death, a decision that will entitle her family to greater financial support.

Four teens arrested two days after the fatal shooting are being held without bond. The group had gone on a violent crime spree before attacking Preston, prosecutors alleged.

Prosecutors charged them with murder and several other felonies, including robbery and arson.

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