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Through Shock and Sorrow Lost Northwest Students Were Remembered at Commencement

Less than four hours after learning that two of their classmates had been shot and killed the night before, the Northwest High School Jaguars gathered on Tuesday, June 6, in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the graduating Class of 2017.

It was to be the last time that the 517 members of the Class of 2017 would be together under one roof. The Northwest community has known since January, after the death of Nigel Hendrickson, that one member of their class wasn’t going to be with them at Constitution Hall.

However, nobody was prepared for the news of the brutal shooting deaths of Artem Ziberov and Shadi Najjar, which happened at about 10:45 pm on Monday, June 5 — the evening before graduation. Montgomery County Police confirmed, at 8:56 am on graduation day morning that the two classmates were found shot to death in a car in Montgomery Village. Police have released very few details about the incident and have not released any information about possible suspects.

Montgomery County Public Schools had grief counselors on hand at Constitution Hall to comfort students dealing the shocking death of two classmates.

Once the Class of 2017 had processed into the hall and been seated, Northwest Principal Jimmy D’Andrea broke from the program to offer a moment of silence for Hendrickson, Ziberov, and Najjar.