Four teens 'looking for victims' charged with the murder of Chicago police officer

Chicago has some serious problems. This story involves four teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 who went out looking for people to rob one night and wound up murdering a 24-year-old police officer named Aréanah Preston.


“These individuals went out looking for victims in the overnight hours of Friday into Saturday morning and are connected to multiple robberies and a motor vehicle theft earlier that morning,” said Interim Chicago Police Supt. Eric Carter.

Preston, who was still in uniform following her shift, was returning home just after 1 a.m. in the 8100 block of South Blackstone Avenue.

That’s when police alleged at least three of the four teens got out of a stolen vehicle and ran towards the officer while armed.

One person allegedly began shooting and Preston returned fire.

Preston was hit twice and the teens stole her gun and fled the scene. The city’s ShotSpotter picked up the gunshots but for some reason it took half an hour for police to respond.

Anthony Riccio, the retired first deputy police superintendent, said it appears there was a backlog of calls and “the dispatcher didn’t have a car to assign to the ShotSpotter alert.”…

“Had somebody gotten there sooner,” he added, “it may have had a different outcome certainly.”

The ShotSpotter alert came in at 1:43 a.m., and a dispatcher alerted officers over police radio that nine rounds had been detected in the 8100 block of South Blackstone Avenue.

Nearly 20 minutes later, a dispatcher came over the radio to report that an Apple Watch had alerted a traffic crash in the same block. The watch belonged to Preston, sources said.


Ultimately it was a traffic cop responding to the report of a car accident who discovered Preston’s body. It’s not clear if she was still alive after the shooting but a 30 minute delay certainly seems like too long for an injured person to wait.

Police later learned the identities of the killers when the 16-year-old bragged to a friend about the murder.

A call by a 16-year-old boy bragging about the killing of Chicago police Officer Aréanah Preston helped authorities crack the case and charge four teenagers with first-degree murder, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Jaylen Frazier asked a friend whether he had seen the news about Preston being gunned down in front of her home earlier and told him “it was his work,” prosecutors said in court documents.

The friend later went to the police and, in front of detectives, called Frazier and put him on speakerphone as the teen talked about the shooting, “including details that had not been released,” prosecutors said.

The teens had been out trying to rob people because one of their girlfriends wanted to buy a barbecue grill. They had apparently robbed five other people before they encountered Officer Preston. The 16-year-old claimed that they had sold Preston’s gun.


What’s most upsetting about this is that Preston probably would have tried to help these kids if they had asked. In addition to being a cop, she was supposed to graduate this weekend with a masters degree from Loyola University. She had a bright future.

Here’s a local news report about the charges. Preston’s mother says she wants to see all four suspects, who already have extensive criminal histories, get a life sentence.



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