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MCPD Arrests Three Men for Killing of Two Northwest Students

~Murders Were Retaliation for Robbery

~Connected to Another Shooting

~Shadi Najjar was Target

Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger announced late Saturday night that MCPD had arrested three men in connection with the brutal killing of Shadi Najjar and Artem Ziberov as they sat in Najjar’s blue Honda Civic on Monday, June 5 on Gallery Court.

Police have arrested three men, Roger Garcia, 19, of 19515 Frederick Road in Germantown; Edgar Garcia-Gaona, 24, of 125 Lamont Lane in Gaithersburg, and Jose Ovilson Canales-Yanez, 25, of the 18400 block of Cape Jasmine Way in Gaithersburg. All three were arrested on Saturday, June 17 and are scheduled to have bail review hearings on Monday, June 19 at 1:00 pm in Rockville. Roger Garcia is a member of the Class of 2016 at Northwest High School.

Chief Manger said that police were able to break this case thanks to information from the community. “Although detectives have made these three arrests, this by no means should be interpreted that the investigation has concluded,” said Chief Manger. “These most recent developments are the result of the community taking an active role in this investigation. It is believed that, considering the progress made over the past 36 hours, there are additional sources of information who have yet to come forward.”

The tragic tale of how two honor students end up shot dead as they sat in a car hours before they were to graduate high school begins way back in December 2016.

Detectives believe that Shadi Najjar was involved in the theft of drugs and/or an iPad from a female on Wednesday, December 14, 2016.

During the press conference held June 17, Chief Manger said, “An interview with a friend of Najjar indicated that he committed a drug-related robbery in December of 2016 or January 2017 where it is rumored that he stole drugs from a girl during a drug deal. This investigation also revealed the just prior to his death Najjar sent a message to this same friend stating that he was planning to sell a graduation ticket to a friend named Roger Garcia. This was the last communication Najjar had prior to his death it occurred at approximately 10:15 pm.”

Investigators found and interviewed Roger Garcia at his residence. Roger Garcia claimed he did not know Najjar or Ziberov and did not purchase a graduation ticket from them.

Detectives developed that Roger Garcia’s brother, Edgar Garcia-Gaona, was shot on February 10, 2017, during a botched drug deal, also in Montgomery Village. Garcia-Gaona was reported to have been carrying a weapon and did exchange gunshots with his assailants.

That shooting took place in the 8500 block of Hawk Run Terrace at about 2:02 pm on Feb. 10 and left one man dead. In a press release at the time, MCPD said “Officers from the 6th District and Fire and Rescue personnel responded and located a male victim in the parking lot area of the neighborhood suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. The victim succumbed to his injuries at the scene. The homicide victim is being identified as Wassi Harron Raheem Young, age 20, of Vermont Avenue in Hyattsville.”

Later in that press release, police said, “During the investigation, detectives learned that a 23-year-old male had arrived at a local hospital with gunshot wounds. Investigators spoke with this male and determined that he was shot during the same incident in which the homicide victim, Young, was shot.”