The deaths of a mother and her two children, who were found in a Herndon home Wednesday evening, are being investigated as a double murder and suicide, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
Noera Ayaz, 42, and her sons were found in the home on the 1000 block of Safa Street around 6:20 p.m. yesterday, according to reports received by Reston Now. The Washington Post also reported the identity of the woman, although the police department has not released the identities or relationships between any of the deceased.
Police believe Ayaz killed her two children and then killed herself. The findings are preliminary and an investigation is ongoing.
The incident was being investigated as a “domestic-related incident” and no threat to public safety was noted. The homeowner, the father of the two children, discovered the bodies when he arrived home Wednesday evening around 6:20 p.m. Police searched the home and found Ayaz upstairs with what police said appeared to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The family, who is Muslim, was active in the local Muslim community and the incident has shaken many local community members.
Ayaz was an accomplished attorney who fought for the rights of immigrants and women. During her early legal career, she worked at the law firm of Baker Botts, LLP, where she worked on intellectual property cases and represented Mulsim women with immigration issues.
She traveled across the world and earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Brown University. She received her law degree from Columbia Law School. In the local community, Ayaz was known for her work as the director of Women in Islam, Inc., an organization that aimed to address issues linked to the Muslim community and build understanding across cultural boundaries.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death, police said. Crime scene detectives searched the home to gather information about the incident after executing a search warrant, police said. Detectives continue their investigation to determine what led to the shooting.
No other information was immediately available.
Photos via FCPD