July Hearing Date Set on Sterling’s Double Homicide

The 34-year-old Alexandria man charged with two counts of first-degree murder following an early morning shooting at a hookah bar in Sterling was arraigned Tuesday in Loudoun Circuit Court.

A preliminary hearing in the case has been set for July 18.

About 1:45 a.m. Monday morning, deputies were called to the Pharaoh Café located in a shopping center on Old Ox Road near the Town of Herndon border for a report of a shooting. Two victims died at the scene. The victims were identified as Ahmed S. Osman, 35, of Sterling, and Murtada A. Marof, 40, of Herndon.

The suspect, Hassan M. Gailani, was apprehended in his vehicle by deputies responding to the call as he attempted to leave the area.

The sheriff’s office said Gailani and the victims were all known to each other.

Gailani is being held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center. The Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent him on the charges.

A conviction of first-degree murder carries a sentence of 20 years to life in prison. He also is charged with use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, which carries a mandatory three-year prison sentence upon conviction.

It was the second fatal shooting—and second double homicide—in Loudoun County this year.

Brian K. Welsh, 38, of Herndon, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the January shooting of Mala Manwani, 65, and her son Rishi Manwani, 32, in their Aldie home. In that case, investigators say Welsh targeted Rishi Manwani over narcotics activity. That case is scheduled for a preliminary hearing next month.

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