Authorities: Palatine teen drove car during fatal shooting

 
 
Updated 2/8/2019 8:25 AM
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A 16-year-old Palatine High School freshman is accused of driving the car used in a fatal shooting last week in unincorporated Palatine.

Andre Naydenov is charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the death of Jose L. Castaneda Jr., 20, who authorities say was shot in the back about 4:18 p.m. Feb. 1 in the 1500 block of Norway Lane.

Noting that the "defendant is not alleged to be the shooter," Cook County Judge Marc Martin ordered Naydenov held on $750,000 bail during Thursday's hearing in Rolling Meadows. Martin ordered the teenager to be held on electronic monitoring at home if he posts bail.

No one else has been charged in the shooting, which took place as Castaneda and a friend were returning on foot from a gas station near the Silver Lakes Apartment Complex in Palatine, said Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Jennifer Gates. Naydenov, who Gates said was driving a silver BMW, and a co-offender showed up at the gas station about the same time as Castaneda and his friend, Gates said, adding videotape surveillance shows all four people inside the gas station.

Naydenov told police the co-offender "viewed the victim and the victim's companion as rival gang members" and said they should "stomp" them, which Naydenov "understood to mean hurt or kill," said Gates.

Naydenov told police the co-offender was a member of a rival gang that tried to recruit Naydenov, Gates said. Naydenov claimed the co-offender, who was in the car's front passenger seat, told him to drive in Castaneda's direction after Castaneda and his friend left the store.

Naydenov complied and stopped when the co-offender told him to, Gates said. The co-offender then opened the passenger door and fired multiple shots at Castaneda.

Video surveillance shows the silver BMW speeding through the Silver Lakes Apartment Complex immediately after the shooting, Gates said.

On Feb. 3, police recovered from the co-offender's home a 9 mm handgun that authorities say fired the fatal shot, Gates said.

According to authorities, Naydenov told police he bought the gun from the co-offender's fellow gang members and "they took it back from him and gave it to the co-offender."

Naydenov later called a family friend who was incarcerated and admitted in that recorded call that "we shot two (gang members) down on Silver Lakes," Gates said.

Naydenov moved from Lake Zurich to Palatine with his mother in December, several months after his father died of cancer, Assistant Cook County Public Defender Caroline Glennon said during the hearing.

"He had no ill will against the victim and his friend and he had no knowledge his passenger was going to inflict an injury," Glennon said.

Naydenov next appears in court on Feb. 28.

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