MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md. (WJZ/AP) — Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of a suspect or suspects in the murders of two teenage boys.
Shadi Adi Najjar, 17, and Artem Ziberov, 18, both of Germantown, were scheduled to graduate Tuesday, Northwest High School Principal Jimmy D’Andrea said in a message to the school community.
The honor students were found shot to death inside a car late Monday night in Montgomery Village.
At graduation, D’Andrea said all those attending had heavy hearts, but Najjar and Ziberov “would want us to move forward today and celebrate.”
The principal also said he spoke with Ziberov’s mother and she said, “I hope everyone has a great celebration today.”
After a 911 caller reported hearing shots fired in a leafy neighborhood of single-family homes in Montgomery Village on Monday night, officers found the two with gunshot wounds in a parked car, Montgomery County police said. Both died at the scene. Police are awaiting a medical examiner’s report.
Investigators are still gathering information about the circumstances surrounding the shooting, police spokesman Capt. Paul Starks said. The county saw 15 homicides last year.
“Motive and why they were there are really good questions and those are two of the things detectives are trying to confirm,” Starks said.
The glass from the Honda Civic, a graduation present, was still on the pavement. The engine and lights were running. One of the neighbors captured audio of the gunshots.
Neighbors said they had never seen the teens or the car before.
“Two at once is shocking and tragic,” Starks said.
Ziberov’s stepfather, who spoke to WTTG-TV but didn’t give his name, said he has no idea why the teen was in Montgomery Village, about 7 miles from his home, on Monday night. Ziberov was an Eagle Scout, held a job and planned to attend the University of Maryland in the fall, his step-father said.
“May God punish who did this to my son,” Najjar’s father, Adi, told WRC-TV while holding his son’s cap and gown. “I’m sure the police will find who killed my boy.”
He said his son left wanting to sell extra graduation tickets. He hugged his mom and that was the last time they would see him alive.
“Why would someone killed my beautiful boy? They are not bad kids. They are very good kids,” he said.
The bodies were taken to the medical examiner’s office in Baltimore. The manner of death was ruled a homicide by gunshot wounds to the head.
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