Five arrested in connection with shooting death of Skokie high school student

Paige Leskin, City Editor

Update, 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 6

A fifth person was arrested Monday morning in connection with the shooting of two 17-year-old Skokie residents on Sept. 28., police said.

​Four other men were arrested Sunday and charged with the first degree murder of Maxwell Gadau, 17, and with the attempted murder and armed robbery of a 17-year-old female who has not been identified, police said.

Skokie police arrested the 17-year-old ​boy while he was in class at Harlan Community Academy High School, located on the South ​S​ide of Chicago. The ​teenager remains in custody and authorities are hopeful that charges will be filed, police said.

The four men arrested Sunday, all 19, are currently being held in police custody without bond after they appeared before Cook County bond judges Sunday and Monday, police said.

Original Story

Four men were arrested Sunday in connection with the Sept. 28 shooting of two high school students in Skokie.

The men, all 19, were charged with the first degree murder of Maxwell Gadau, 17, and with the attempted murder and armed robbery of a 17-year-old female who has not been identified, police said.

All four remain in police custody and were brought before Cook County bond judges Sunday and Monday, police said. Police believe the shooting was not a random act.

The arrests were a joint effort between Skokie police, North Regional Major Crimes Task Force and the Chicago Police Department, police said.

Skokie police found Gadau, whose parents are from Evanston, and the girl after officers responded to a call of shots fired on the night of Sept. 28. The two were found in a car in the 9200 block of Kedvale​ Avenue.

Both were transported to Evanston Hospital, where Gadau was pronounced dead and the girl remains hospitalized, police said.

Gadau died of a gunshot wound in the back and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Gadau and the girl were both students at Niles North High School, according to a statement from the school.

“This terrible crime has affected our entire school community,” Niles North principal Ryan McTague said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Max’s family, with the family of the injured girl, and with the families of all the students who are affected by this event.”

A memorial service for Gadau was held Sunday afternoon at Evanston’s First Presbyterian Church, 1427 Chicago Ave., said Erika Carey, a friend of Gadau’s parents who helped them draft their remarks for the service.

Carey said Gadau’s parents have yet to gain closure, as the investigation has prevented them from viewing their son’s body.

“This is a tragedy. They’re speechless, they’re shocked, they’re angry,” Carey said. “I think what’s been most difficult is that it was a murder on a Sunday night in the sleepy neighborhood of Skokie.”

Gadau’s parents grew up in Evanston and went to Evanston Township High School. District 202 superintendent Eric Witherspoon and Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Paul Goren both reached out to the parents to express their condolences, Carey said.

“The amount of outpouring and sort of love and support from the Niles North students and from Evanston … it’s been this ironic coming together of two communities to both mourn and grieve and then think about, ‘What’s going on? Why are people being murdered and shot to death?’” Carey said. “(The parents) both said, ‘We don’t even know how we can get up in the morning, and we know we have to.’ It’s their biggest nightmare.”

Carey said the shooting took place near the home of Gadau’s friend, where Gadau had been hanging out. Some of his friends were playing basketball in the driveway and witnessed the shooting, she said.

A candlelight vigil was held Monday night on Kedvale Avenue where the shooting took place, Carey said.

Correction: An earlier version of the story misidentified the street where the 17-year-old was found. He was found on Kedvale Avenue. The Daily regrets the error.

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