GERMANTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — Two Montgomery County honor students were shot to death while sitting in a car in Montgomery Village, just one day before graduation.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren has the emotional interview with their parents.
The family of victim Shadi Najjar says his cell phone was taken. They believe he’s the person the killer was after.
“We miss him. We love him. We will never forget him of course. He’s in our hearts,” says Shadi’s father’s Adi Najjar.
The pain is still fresh for Adi Najjar, who’s son was murdered execution-style in a hail of gunfire the day before his graduation. It happened in a quiet Montgomery County neighborhood, just miles from his home.
“Twenty-three shots. It is shots of hate. I keep asking myself this question over and over and over. ‘Why was someone targeting my boy?'”
Shadi’s best friend, Artem Ziberov, was also murdered, but Adi believes the killer was targeting his son. He provided new information about what the killer took from the crime scene.
“They took only my son’s phone, but they never took Artem’s phone. Was it a hate crime? Or someone jealous of him?”
Police have revealed little about the motive in this mysterious and brutal crime that has stunned so many here.
“We see that a lot of our homicides, there’s a connection between the victim and the suspects. So we’re looking at everything about these two young men to see if finding that connection between them and suspect,” says Captain Darren Francke, with Montgomery County Police.
“My son was just a child. He was just a child.”
Shadi’s mother held her son’s graduation picture tight. She has a message for the person who took him from her.
“Say and tell them who did it. You know who did it. Someone bad, very bad.”
Najjar’s family is now offering a $20,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.
Police tell WJZ they have now interviewed more than 100 people in their investigation.