Uncle Calls Teen’s Death ‘A Wake-up Call’

Imam Ammar Najar, the uncle of the slain teenager. | Douglas Tallman

Imam Ammar Najar leads the Islamic Society of Germantown. He’s also the uncle of Shadi Najjar, one of the teenagers shot dead on a quiet Montgomery Village street Monday night.

Speaking outside his mosque, Najar said he hoped other families would learn from the incident to eliminate what separates parents from their children.

“This is a wake-up call for all parents and children. Be close. Don’t leave a space. Don’t leave a gap. Be friends,” he said.

Shadi Najjar and Artem Ziberov were shot in their car as they stopped along the 8200 block of Gallery Court. A neighbor’s surveillance system captured the sounds of more than 20 shots fired. The teens were to graduate from Northwest High School on Tuesday.

Three gofundme campaigns have started to help defray funeral costs and to go toward a reward for information about the details of the incident. By Thursday afternoon, the campaigns had raised $770.

Agrodolce, a Germantown restaurant, is asking patrons to donate, including this message: “This tragedy is all of ours. This child is all of ours. I’m sharing this with you as a community member, as a mother, and as a fellow Northwest High School parent … If you can contribute even a small amount, please consider doing so. Blessings, friends. ~Lena”

This tragedy is all of ours. This child is all of ours. I'm sharing this with you as a community member, as a mother,…

Posted by Agrodolce on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Najar — who spells his surname differently than his brother’s family — described his nephew as “smart, sharp,” someone who liked to laugh. Shadi Najjar was taking classes at Montgomery College, and was preparing to enter the University of Maryland, his uncle said. The teen was looking for a career that would allow him to advance, Najar said.

“There were too many dreams in his head,” he said with a smile.

The teen also liked to do things with his hands. One of the last things he made was a flower made of paper that he gave to his mother. She laid the flower with in her son’s grave, Najar said.

Shadi’s parents had given him money for a trip to Ocean City. Najar said he thinks that could be the money that was found with Shadi.

Rather than attend his uncle’s mosque, Shadi liked to attend the Islamic Center of Maryland on Woodfield Road, the imam said. That mosque is only about two miles or so from where the shooting took place.

Ammar Najar said the people who carried out the shooting have to be foolish and careless.

“Nothing is important to them, or precious. They’re senseless, heartless.”

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

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