4 Chicago Teens Charged With Murdering Chicago Cop on Her Way Home From Work
Officer Aréanah Preston, 24, was just days away from graduating from Loyola University with her Master's degree, ABC Chicago reported.
Four Chicago teenagers have been charged with murder in the death of a 24-year-old cop from the Windy City who was killed on her way home from work over the weekend, according to reports.
Authorities announced Wednesday that Jakwon Buchanan, 18, Joseph Brooks, 19, Trevell Breeland, 19, and Jaylen Frazier, 16, face charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery in Saturday's killing of Officer Aréanah Preston, 24.
The 16-year-old suspect will be tried as an adult, CBS Chicago reported.
The four suspects are being held without bail, according to CBS News.
In addition to murder charges, all four were also charged with armed robbery, burglary, motor vehicle theft and other offenses in connection with other incidents that occurred on Friday and Saturday, police said.
The Chicago Police Department said Preston was fatally shot about 1:40 a.m. Saturday during a robbery spree as she was returning home from her shift earlier in the day.
Cops said the suspects allegedly pulled up in a stolen vehicle as Preston returned to her home in the Avalon Park section of the city.
Cops said one of the suspects opened fire at Preston, who returned fire, and another of the suspects stole Officer Preston's gun before they fled in a stolen vehicle.
Prosecutors said she was shot both in the face and the neck, and they said Brooks has admitted to firing first.
Preston's Apple Watch alerted that she'd been involved in a car crash at that location and police rushed their colleague to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. In the hours afterward, investigators said the four suspects torched the stolen car, sold Officer Preston's gun, and the youngest of the team called a friend to brag about their exploits, ABC Chicago reported.
"In that call, defendant Frazier asked the friend if he had seen the news about the police officer being killed. Defendant Frazier said it was his work," said Assistant State's Attorney Anne McCord.
The youngest suspect allegedly bragged to a friend about the shooting, CBS Chicago reported. That friend went straight to police and called the suspect again while detectives were listening on the other end, according to CBS Chicago.
"The friend pulled out his phone, called defendant Frazier, on speakerphone, and talked to him in front of detectives. During the phone call, defendant Frazier made additional admissions to the robbery and shooting including details that had not been released," Assistant State's Attorney Anne Rodgers McCord said.
The victim’s mother, Dionne Mhoon, spoke to reporters outside court Wednesday.
"I stand before you guys today as a mother. A heartbroken mother," Mhoon said. "A mother that's full of anger, rage, questions why."
"As crazy as it may sound, I pray for their family. Any time you shoot someone and say that's my work. What kind of human would say that about another human being?" Mhoon added.
Prosecutors said the youngest suspect's mother helped turn her teenage son in to police at the same police district where Officer Preston served, ABC Chicago reported.
A spokesperson for the Cook County Courts tells Inside Edition Digital via email that the suspects have not yet entered pleas but are due back in court on May 30.
A spokesperson for the Cook County Public Defender's Office told Inside Edition Digital via email "we can't comment on open cases." Their office is representing three of the four teenagers. Joseph Brooks has obtained private council.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a statement after the charges were announced.
"I want to commend the Chicago Police Department and the hardworking detectives for working swiftly to apprehend and bring to justice the four individuals responsible for the heinous murder of Police Officer Aréanah M. Preston,” Lightfoot said. “Their diligent efforts have removed violent, repeat offenders from our streets."
Chicago Police Department Commander Tyrone Pendarvis reportedly was emotional while speaking about Preston during Wednesday’s press conference.
"Her last arrest that evening, even the arrestee once finding out the news of what had happened, she wept," Pendarvis said. "But that speaks to the credit of Officer Preston because she connected with everyone. She was empathetic to everyone's problems regardless of what role they were in."
Preston was just days away from graduating from Loyola University with her Master's degree, ABC Chicago reported.
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