Standout Niles North Swimmer Shot, Killed

Max Gadau's mother says her son was shot during a drug deal

Family and friends are mourning the loss of a Niles North High School student who was fatally shot Sunday night.

Max Gadau, 17, and another person were either standing next to or inside a Honda Civic in the 9200 block of Kedvale Avenue when they were both shot. Gadau died in the attack and the other person was listed in critical condition at Evanston Hospital.

The victim's mother, Patricia Gadau, said her son was asked by a classmate, who's allegedly involved in drugs, to accompany her for "protection."

"Max went to front of the house, to the car, where they were approached by two men on foot and they shot him," Gadau said. "She wanted him to protect her and he did, and he lost his life for it."

Students gathered at the scene of the shooting Monday night to pay their respects. Max was a standout swimmer who instructed others at a local gym.

"To shoot somebody through a window over marijuana is just petty," the victim's longtime friend, Sunair Ibrahim, said.

Niles North parents said they're sick of the violence.

"Enough guns! What are you hunting? What are you doing here in Skokie that you need guns to kill people?" Stacey Robinson said.

Max was planning to swim in college and had just filled out applications at Eastern Illinois University.

"If this can happen to Max, who's a bystander, it can happen to anybody. Bad things happen to good people. You could be next," Patricia Gadau said.

The police department's K-9 unit was brought in and shell casings may have been found inside the vehicle, which was towed Monday morning to an evidence lab.

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