High school student charged in connection with Halifax County double murder

18-year-old Mohamed A. Aly is a student at T.C. Williams High School


18-year-old Mohamed A. Aly’s preliminary hearing is set for 10 a.m. on April 15.


On Friday, Peter Balas, the principal at T.C. Williams High School, sent this letter to parents:

"We are writing to inform you that a T.C. Williams High School student was arrested today for his alleged involvement in a crime that occurred outside of the City of Alexandria and our community. We are complying with authorities as they conduct their ongoing investigation, and we are referring all questions to Virginia State Police. It is ACPS policy to not comment on an active police investigation.

This situation was handled today according to protocol, and the safety and security of our students and staff were never at risk. Protecting members of our school community is always our top priority, and we take any matter relating to the safety of our schools very seriously. As a precautionary measure, additional security will be in place at the school tomorrow.

We should expect that there will be a variety of reactions to what has occurred, and the most important thing we can do is to be supportive and encourage an open expression of emotions. Counselors will be available for students and staff members at the school over the next few days. We encourage your child to reach out for support as needed.

We will be monitoring students carefully over the next few weeks. If you feel that your child or family needs assistance, please contact the school administration at 703-824-6800, and we will do everything we can to help you. "


A northern Virginia high school student is in custody in connection with a Halifax County double murder, according to state police.

Authorities say 18-year-old Mohamed A. Aly is a student at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, where state police arrested him on Thursday morning.

Aly is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, according to state police.

Aly arrived at Halifax County Adult Detention Center around 10 p.m. on Thursday night.

State police say Ntombo Bianda, 21, of Alexandria, Va., and Ayanna Griffin, 19, of Germantown, Md., were found dead on a median of Route 58 near Melon Road in the Turbeville community of Halifax County early Saturday morning. Their bodies were near a silver 2009 Nissan Maxima.

What initially looked like a single-car crash eventually became an active double murder scene, as investigators said the deaths were not caused by the crash.

It’s extent of the relationship between Aly and the victims is unclear.

Family members told News4 Washington that Bianda and Griffin were each shot in the head once.

Griffin’s dad, George Ivan Maertens, was thankful for the news that someone had been arrested.

“It did bring a small piece of relief and that felt really good and that’s something that, when this type of tragedy hits a family as hard as it hits, you’re scrapping for any piece of hope wherever you can find it," said Maertens.

His daughter and her boyfriend were said to be in Halifax County over the weekend picking up a friend when they died.

“Just... what led to this? What..why would you have pulled that trigger twice and have taken that out. You know, from what I understand, this is a kid in high school and an athlete," Maertens said.

Investigators encourage anyone with information to call the Virginia State Police at 434-352-7128 or #77 on a cell phone. You can also email questions@vsp.virginia.gov. All tips can be made anonymously.

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