Arrests made in killing of two Northwest High School students

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Montgomery County Police Chief Manger and Major Crimes Division Detectives announce the arrests of the persons developed as responsible for the double homicide of the two Northwest High School  students, 17-year-old Shadi Adi Najjar and 18-year-old Artem S. Ziberov that occurred on June 5 in Montgomery Village.

Police identified the suspects as 24-year-old Edgar Garcia-Gaona, 19-yeasr-old Roger Garcia and 25-year-old Jose Ovilson Canales-Yanez.

They say Najjar was targeted after rumors he robbed the wife of one of the suspects. Police say they haven't been able to say for sure whether Najjar committed the robbery. 

Police say don't know if Ziberov was targeted as well for some reason or just happened to be in the car with Najjar.

 Police say on the night of the murder on June 5, one of the suspects arrested had arranged to meet Najjar to buy some extra graduation tickets from him. Police say it was a ruse to lure him to Montgomery Village. 

The double murder of two Germantown teenagers happened the night before their graduation in the 8200 block of Gallery Court in Montgomery Village the evening of June 5.

WATCH: Montgomery County Police address double-murder of teens set to graduate

 

Investigators said 30 shell casings were found at the scene, including multiple caliber shells, leading police to believe there were multiple guns and shooters.

Both Ziberov and Najjar were found inside a Honda Civic. One of the victims was shot 10 times and the other was shot four times, according to officials.

A source familiar with the investigation said one of the boys had cash in his hand. On Friday, Najjar's father said police told him Ziberov had $20.

“I did not see it,” said Adi Najjar. “Not to my knowledge. I was not there. But my son, no, he did not have cash in his wallet.”

RELATED: Slain Northwest High School student laid to rest; father offers $20K reward 

Police confirmed they did find tickets to the graduation for Northwest High School in the car the victims were found murdered in. Both families have said the boys were heading out that night to sell their extra tickets. Najjar and Ziberov were set to graduate from Northwest High School the following day.

A source familiar with the investigation also said someone looking for a debt to be paid showed up at one of the teenager's homes in the weeks before the murder. But both Najjar's father and Ziberov's said it was not true.

"Not to my knowledge and nobody ever come here asking for money," said Adi Najjar.

He added, "I love my son and I always will love him,” said Najjar’s father. “He is a very good student, he was smart, intelligent and I would never think with his intelligence that he would do something stupid to ruin his future.”

No search warrants have been served during the course of the investigation, officials stated.

Detectives investigating the murders of the teenagers are now going through all of their communications in the weeks and months before their deaths in hopes of turning up the key information they need for find their killers.

“We know that kids talk amongst all kinds of platforms nowadays,” said Montgomery County Police Capt. Darren Francke. “They talk ... Snapchat, texting, WiFi – there is so many ways that they talk. We believe people are talking. We believe that there is probably a good chance that someone at Northwest High School knows something that they should share, that they should do the right thing – talk to their parents about it.”

Capt. Franke said 60 detectives and technicians are working on the case around the clock going through phone records and social media accounts.

"We can't imagine what someone did to deserve this fate and we want to appeal to those out there that have information – do the right thing and talk to the Montgomery County police,” he said.

Franke said both families are cooperating with the investigation as they dig deeper into the boys’ past.

Ziberov's body will be shipped back to Russia to be buried near his mother’s family in Moscow.

RELATED: Stepfather baffled by stepson's murder before graduation

A GoFundMe account was established to help the families of Ziberov and Najjar. To donate, click here.

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