“Friends” of Slain Teen Among Those Charged in His Murder: Family

Prosecutors said Sunday the group smoked pot as they drove away from the scene

Four teens have been charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a Niles North High School student last week.

Max Gadau, 17, and a 17-year-old girl 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 girl was listed in critical condition at Evanston Hospital.

9/29/2014: Victim’s mother says teen was shot during drug deal gone bad. NBC 5’s Natalie Martinez reports.
Skokie Police

Dzevad Avdic, 19, of the 5900 block of South Honore in Chicago, Myles Hughes, 19, of the 4200 block of West 81st Street in Chicago, Jeremy Ly, 19, of the 8100 block of Lowell in Skokie, and Nicholas Smith 19, of the 3800 block of West 84th Street in Chicago were each charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and armed robbery.

In court Sunday, prosecutors allege the shooting was part of a drug deal gone wrong.

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," she said. "She wanted him to protect her and he did, and he lost his life for it."

Prosecutors said the offenders attempted to rob the 17-year-old girl of pot.

Officials allege Avdic planned the robbery and Ly suggested the 17-year-old girl.

Avdic set up the drug deal via text message and drove Hughes, Smith and another person who has not yet been charged to the 9200 block of Kedvale Avenue, where the shooting took place, prosecutors said.

Gadau was shot in the back and the teen girl was shot in the face. The girl remains hospitalized and is on a respirator, officials said.

Prosecutors said Sunday the group smoked pot as they drove away from the scene. They also said the alleged shooter remains on the loose.

Patricia Gadau said at least two of the teens charged were friends of her son.

"It was hard for us to know that two of the youths involved were friends of my son," she said. "It was hard, very hard."

Patricia Gadau said one of the teens was even on the same swim team as her son at one point.

"They've both been to my house," she said. "I don't believe they knew it was Max. I think that they're crushed."

Hughes, Ly and Smith were ordered held without bail Sunday afternoon. Avdic is scheduled to appear before a Cook County bond judge Monday.

An attorney for Nicholas Smith, Edgar Howard, said his client is innocent.

"He was just a passenger in the car," Howard said.

Not long after David Cherek was killed in January 1992, police had a suspect in mind. Two decades later, he is finally in custody. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

Family and friends gathered Sunday at a memorial service in Evanston.

Gadau was a standout swimmer who instructed others at a local gym. He 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.

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.

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