Two men were fatally shot early Monday at a hookah lounge in Sterling, Va., and an Alexandria man has been arrested and charged, according to authorities.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said the double homicide happened about 1:45 a.m. at the Pharaoh Cafe in the 46000 block of Old Ox Road.

On Twitter, officials said “two victims lost their lives at the scene.”

The victims were identified as Ahmed S. Osman-Ahmed, 35, of Sterling and Murtada A. Marof, 40, of Herndon, officials said.

The sheriff’s office said Hassan M. Gailani, 34, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of use of a firearm.

Authorities said their initial investigation shows Gailani walked into the cafe and “appeared to target one of the victims,” according to Kraig Troxell, a spokesman for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.


Hassan M. Gailani of Alexandria was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. (Loudoun County Sheriff's Office)

Gailani was found in his vehicle as he was trying to leave the area. He is being held without bond at the local jail, authorities said.

Sheriff’s officials said the victims and Gailani were “associated with each other,” but their exact relationship was not clear. Officials said the circumstances that led to the shooting were under investigation.

Troxell said the hookah cafe is a popular gathering place after bars close.

The hookah cafe is open until 4 a.m.

Jennifer Jenkins, Justin Wm. Moyer and Justin Jouvenal contributed to this report.