Chicago police officer fatally shot while driving home from work

CPD interim Supt. Eric Carter and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot meet with reporters after an off-duty Chicago police officer was fatally shot on her way home from work on May 6, 2023. | Chicago Police Department

CHICAGO — An off-duty Chicago police officer was shot and killed as she headed home from work early Saturday morning, officials said.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPD interim Supt. Eric Carter offered few details of the shooting during a press conference outside the University of Chicago Hospital shortly after 7 a.m.

Officers initially responded to the 8100 block of South Blackstone at 2:02 a.m. after police received an Apple Watch notification and a ShotSpotter gunfire alert at nearly the same location, according to police dispatch records.

The CPD first unit to arrive found the officer lying in a yard, a source said. Those officers placed her into their squad car and drove her to U of C, where she succumbed to her injuries, according to Carter.

Areanah Preston | LinkedIn

He said the officer joined the force three years ago and had just gotten off work. She was 24 years old, assigned to the Calumet (5th) District on the far South Side.

Later on Saturday morning, the officer was identified as Areanah Preston.

Lightfoot became tearful during the press conference. When she received a call about the shooting, Lightfoot said, she reacted as a mother, not just a mayor. Lightfoot echoed an earlier statement by Carter, asking Chicagoans to thank officers when they see them.

CPD radio traffic shows that police received a ShotSpotter alert of up to nine rounds fired at an address in the 8100 block of South Blackstone at 1:43 a.m.

Shortly after 2 a.m., dispatchers reported an Apple Watch emergency notification from the address directly next door to the ShotSpotter location and assigned a unit to investigate.

Finally, at 2:15 a.m., an officer declared an emergency upon finding the injured officer at the scene.

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