It’s too early to identify suspects in the shooting death of Cardereon Preister, 21, who was killed near the high school on Tuesday night, according to Evanston Police Cmdr. Jason Parrott.
Preister was shot once in the back and died outside his home in the 1700 block of Leland Avenue around 11 p.m. that night, according to police. Parrott said police believe he was the shooter’s intended target.
Asked whether the shooting could be connected to other, previous shootings in Evanston, Parrott said police don’t yet have an answer.
“It’s too early to determine if this particular murder is gang-related, or if there’s some other circumstances involved,” he said.
He also said Preister was not a suspect in other unsolved murders in Evanston.
On Wednesday, police said they were interviewing possible witnesses and reviewing surveillance video from the area. Anyone who believes they may have information is asked to call police at 847-866-5000 or to send an anonymous tip to CRIMES (274637) with "EPD TIP" in the subject line.
Preister worked for Bryn Mawr Country Club over the summer, and was hoping to obtain his GED after he dropped out of Evanston Township High School, according to Kevin Brown, program manager with the city’s Youth & Young Adult Program Division. A cousin told NBC Chicago that he had a newborn baby girl and a second child on the way.
He and another Evanston man were arrested and charged with residential burglary after they allegedly broke into a north side Evanston home in March 2012 , according to police.
Multiple people standing outside Preister’s home in the 1700 block of Leland Avenue declined to comment Wednesday morning, including a woman who identified herself as his mother.
Anne Hoffman, who taught Preister art while he attended Lincolnwood Elementary School, remembered him as an eager student who was well-liked by other kids.
“He had a bright smile that would light up the room. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true,” she said. “It’s hard to believe that a little kid that I taught is now 21 and shot dead—regardless of whatever kind of life he had.”