Four people are facing first-degree murder charges following the shooting death of a 24-year-old Chicago police officer in the early morning hours of May 6.
Jakwon Buchanan, 18, Joseph Brooks, 19, Trevell Breeland, 19, and Jaylen Frazier, 16, who will be tried as an adult, have been charged with the first-degree murder of Areanah Preston, CBS News reported. The suspects are also allegedly connected to a string of robberies and a vehicle theft that occurred in the hours before the fatal shooting, the outlet stated.
Preston had just finished her shift and was on her way home when the suspects allegedly pulled up beside her in a stolen vehicle and fired shots at her, according to law enforcement officials. Preston, who was still in uniform, fired back, but had her weapon taken by one of the assailants who fled the scene soon after.
Four teenagers have been charged in the fatal shooting of a Chicago police officer who was slain last weekend as she was heading home from work. https://t.co/3kAWzg4h1R
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 11, 2023
An initial call reporting the shooting came in at 1:42 a.m., but due to a backlog, law enforcement officers were not immediately able to respond, CBS News reported. A 9-1-1 alert was received from Preston’s Apple Watch approximately 20 minutes later, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Six Killed, Over 20 Wounded In Chicago Weekend Shootings)
Preston was eventually found by an officer responding to a report of a vehicular crash who put the wounded police officer into the back of his squad car to the University of Chicago Medical Center where she later died from “multiple gunshot wounds above the breast,” according to another report from CBS News.
Police were alerted to the suspects by a friend of Frazier’s who notified law enforcement after the suspect allegedly admitting that they were attempting to rob Preston when she fired at them, according to CBS News. The unnamed friend allowed detectives to listen in on a phone call with the suspect who allegedly made more admissions about the incident, including details that had not been released to the public, the outlet reported.
During their investigation, police recovered the murder weapon, a Glock-19, which allegedly contained fingerprints of Brooks, Breeland, and Buchanan, CBS News reported.
Dionne Mhoon, Preston’s mother, was present for the arraignment hearing. “As I said in that courtroom today, the people I really felt sorry for was those boys. I felt sorry for them because nobody obviously didn’t pour into them. Nobody told them that they were loved. Nobody told them that you could do anything like I constantly preach to my daughters,” she stated, adding that justice would be a life sentence.
“I stand before you guys today as a mother; a heartbroken mother; a mother that full of anger, rage, questions why,” she said, the outlet reported.
In addition to first-degree murder, the suspects are facing additional charges of armed robbery, arson, burglary, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and unlawful use of a weapon. All four are being held on no bond, the outlet stated.
Preston was set to graduate with a Master’s degree from Loyola University on Saturday.