Three people have been charged with killing two Maryland teens who were found dead the night before their high school graduation, and police said they believe the slayings were revenge for a robbery that one of the teens was rumored to have committed. The three are charged in the deaths of 17-year-old Shadi Adi Najjar and 18-year-old Artem Ziberov, said Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger. The suspects were identified as 25-year-old Jose Canales-Yanez, 19-year-old Roger Garcia, and 24-year-old Edgar Garcia-Gaona. Manger said each is being charged with two counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. He said Garcia and Garcia-Gaona are brothers.
Manger said investigators learned from friends of Najjar that he was rumored to have robbed Canales-Yanez's girlfriend last December, and was killed in retaliation. He added that, "we're unsure right now if there was a motive to kill Ziberov as well, or if he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time." Najjar and Ziberov were found shot to death in a blue Honda Civic in Montgomery Village, the night before they were supposed to graduate from Northwest High School. Manger said that just before Najjar died, he texted someone saying he was going to sell a graduation ticket to Roger Garcia, who was identified as a Northwest High School student. "We're certainly working on the strong possibility that this was a ruse to get the two victims to that location," Manger said. (Read more high school graduation stories.)