Alexandria teen arrested in deaths of 2 Maryland high school grads

Virginia State Police are investigating a double homicide in Halifax County. (Courtesy Virginia State Police)

An Alexandria, Virginia, teenager has been arrested and charged in connection to the deaths of two Maryland high school graduates over the weekend, Virginia State Police said.

Police arrested 18-year-old Mohamed A. Aly in Alexandria on Thursday on charges of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

T.C. Williams High School principal Peter Balas sent a letter to the school community confirming that a student was arrested Thursday for an alleged crime that happened outside the City of Alexandria and its community.

Balas said school protocol was followed in the arrest, and students were never at risk.

As a precautionary measure, there will be additional security at the school on Friday, and counselors will be available to students and staff, Balas said.

Aly will be held at the regional jail in Halifax County, Virginia.

Last Saturday, police found two people dead near a crashed car on an isolated highway in Halifax County, Virginia, about 10 miles from the North Carolina border. The victims were identified as Ntombo Joel Bianda, 21, of Alexandria, and Ayanna Munne Maertens Griffin, 19, of Germantown, Maryland.

Police had been called to the scene for a single-car crash shortly before 3 a.m. on Saturday, and found a silver Nissan, registered to Bianda, that had run off the road into the median. They found Bianda and Maertens Griffin lying in the grass nearby; both had gunshot wounds, state police said earlier this week.

Bianda and Maertens Griffin were both recent graduates of Northwest High School in Montgomery County, Maryland. Bianda graduated in 2017, and Maertens Griffin graduated in 2019, according to a tweet from Northwest High principal Jimmy D’Andrea.

GoFundMe campaigns for both Bianda and Maertens Griffin have been set up by family members. State police called the two “close acquaintances.”

“State police personnel have been working around the clock pursuing multiple leads related to this homicide investigation,” said Capt. David O. Cooper II with Virginia State Police. “We cannot thank the public enough for providing the tips and information necessary to aid our special agents with effecting an arrest so quickly.”

T.C. Williams High School and its football program inspired the hit 2000 movie “Remember The Titans.”

Below is a map showing the location where the bodies were found and the route the Silver Nissan may have traveled:

WTOP’s Jack Moore, Megan Cloherty and Kristi King contributed to this report.

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