From the Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — An off-duty Chicago police officer was shot and killed early Saturday as she headed home on the city’s Southside after her shift.
The officer was shot about 1:42 a.m. in the city’s Avalon Park neighborhood, police said.
She was found wounded by another officer who responded to an alert from the city’s gunshot detection system, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The second officer rushed her to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. The slain officer had been with Chicago police about three years.
No arrests have been made.
Relatives identified the slain officer to the Chicago Sun-Times as Areanah Preston, 24.
“She was trying to make a change on this Earth,” her father, Allen Preston, told the newspaper.
Preston, who lives in Los Angeles, described his daughter as a “beautiful soul” who “always saw the best in people.”
“This was my baby. Everything I did was for her,” he said. “I don’t know what to do, right now. I’ll be dealing with this for the rest of my life.”
Late Saturday morning, more than a dozen family members gathered outside Areanah Preston’s home.
“She was a definite role model with a career path that just didn’t stop,” said her aunt, Sonia Rawsk.
Areanah Preston earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and law enforcement administration from Illinois State University.
Professor Charles Bell told the Sun-Times that she was “very passionate about making a difference and showing young people that policing is a profession that can make a difference in the community.”
“She was very aware of a lot of the problems that in her opinion had manifested in the Chicago community,” Bell added. “She was a reformer. She saw a problem and she was dedicated to making a difference.”