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Maryland Police: Teens murdered in retaliation for alleged drug robbery

June 19, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Maryland Police: Teens murdered in retaliation for alleged drug robbery

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Three men were taken into custody Saturday in the fatal shooting of two teenagers in Maryland, the Montgomery County Police Department reported.

Shadi Najjar, 17 and Artem Ziberov, 18, were discovered dead in Najjar’s Honda Civic on June 5th, the night before the pair were scheduled to graduate from high school, WTOP reported.

On Saturday, Maryland authorities arrested Edgar Garcia-Gaona, 24, Roger Garcia, 19, and Jose Ovilson Canales-Yanez, 25.

Investigators revealed that 30 shell casings were recovered at the scene. One of the teens was shot four times, and the other was hit ten times.

Artem Ziberov (L) and Shadi Adi Najjar (R)

Officials said they think Najjar and Ziberov were murdered in revenge for a “drug-related robbery” that Najjar reportedly carried out months ago.

During the probe, Najjar’s friend told police that Najjar had robbed drugs from a woman during an exchange in December or January.

The same friend told officials that Najjar said he was going to sell Garcia a ticket to their graduation. According to authorities, it was the last time Najjar spoke with anyone, roughly 30-minutes before he was murdered.

“We’re certainly working on the possibility that (the ticket) was a ruse to get the victims to the location,” Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said at a press conference on Saturday.

Edgar Garcia-Gaona had a friend, Jose Canales-Yanez, who is believed to be the boyfriend or husband of the woman Najjar allegedly stole from, Kara Yanez.

The scene where two Northwest High School students, Shadi Adi Najjar and Artem S. Ziberov, were found shot dead Monday night on the eve of their graduation.

According to a press release, Kara Yanez told authorities that in December 2016, that she was approached by a Honda Civic while walking. The vehicle’s passenger took Yanez’s iPad, and dragged her about 50 feet before fleeing.

“It’s believed that this is the robbery that Najjar, the victim, was rumored to have participated in,” Manger stated.

It’s not clear, he added, whether the suspects had a reason to kill Ziberov, “or if his death was incidental to killing Najjar.”

On Saturday, police carried out a search warrant at Garcia-Gaona’s house, where they found a box of Blazer 40 ammunition.

According to authorities, 11 of the 30 casings collected at the scene of the crime were Blazer 40 caliber ammo.

The three men have been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of conspiracy to carry out first-degree murder.

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