Man shoots 2 honor roll students dead on eve of their graduation

A man who shot two Maryland teens to death last year as they sat in their car learned his fate this week in court.

WJLA reported that Jose Canales-Yanez, 26, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the June 5, 2017, slayings of Shadi Najjar, 17, and Artem Ziberov, 18 (pictured left, right). The pair were slated to attend graduation hours before their murders.

Najar and Ziberov were lured to Montgomery County under the guise that they were selling tickets to their graduation at Northwest High School. WTOP reported that Najar, the driver, was wounded four times while Ziberov was shot 10 times; police recovered 30 shell casings from the scene.

The shooting was apparently retribution for a drug deal gone wrong involving Najar. In December 2016, Najar is believed to have stolen marijuana from Canales-Yanez’s pregnant wife and injured her with his car, according to WJLA.

Canales-Yanez didn’t call the police. Instead, prosecutors said he spent months devising a plan which would result in Najar’s cold-blooded murder.

After sentencing, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said Ziberov had no involvement in the alleged robbery and that the men shot into the car despite knowing this. According to WTOP, the prosecutor added that Canales-Yanez fired his last three shots at Najar from close range and reached into the car to take his cell phone, as it held evidence of their previous correspondence.

Edgar Garcia-Gaona, Roger Garcia, and Rony Galicia were also charged in connection with last year’s slaying. Their cases are pending.

[Featured Image: Artem Ziberov, Shadi Najjar/WJLA]