Teen Charged in Fatal Shooting of NIU Student

Chaz Thrailkill, 19, is being held on $3 million bail

A Markham teen has been charged in the shooting death of a Northern Illinois University student at an off-campus party, DeKalb Police said Wednesday afternoon.

Chaz Thrailkill, 19, is accused of getting into a fight with Steven Agee II, 22, early Wednesday at an apartment complex at 809 Edgebrook Drive, police said. Agee, a sociology major and student leader on campus, was shot three times in the chest around 2 a.m. and later pronounced dead at Kishwaukee Hospital.

Thrailkill was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm. Thrailkill was arrested at 10:42 a.m. in the 1100 block of Varsity Bl., police said, and is being held on $3 million bail.

"This was an isolated incident that occurred as a result of an argument that escalated between Agee and Thrailkill at an off-campus party," DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen said. "The investigation is ongoing."

Officers issued an alert earlier Wednesday advising the campus community to "use caution, be alert and to avoid unnecessary travel at this time." Feithen said Thursday morning police interviewed dozens of people who were at the party.

Family friend Ronald Sorsby said Agee's parents and friends are devastated. "A young man, 22 years old, he hasn't even started living," Sorsby said. "It's senseless, it makes no sense."

Friends say Agee, due to graduate in May, was talking about graduation Tuesday night inside the off-campus apartment. But the celebration turned to tough words between him and another partygoer.

"What could be so drastic that you would want to take someone's life?" Sorsby said.

Students gathered to remember Agee Wednesday morning at the student life center. Marques Rhone, a childhood friend, said Thanksgiving will never be the same without him.

"I'm glad I did have a chance to talk to him before he died," Rhone said, "let him know that I cared for him. You know you only have so long to live."

Chaz Thrailkill
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