Police: 42-year-old woman shot 2 children, self in apparent murder-suicide at Herndon home

A Fairfax County community is reeling after a mother is believed to have taken her own life and the lives of her two young children.

Jim Keys lives across the street from the home in the 1000 block of Safa Street in Herndon where three bodies were found. He watched as the swarm of police cars entered his quiet neighborhood Wednesday night. According to Fairfax County police, the homeowner contacted 911 after he went to his home just after 6 p.m. Wednesday and found a 42-year-old woman and two juveniles shot to death in an apparent murder-suicide. Investigators believe the woman shot the two children before shooting herself.

The children in this Herndon neighborhood walk to the bus stop to head to Forestville Elementary School. Neighbors said among them were two young boys who lived in that home. The youngest child was a Cub Scout alongside other neighborhood kids. However, they are both believed to be the two kids allegedly killed by their own mother.

Officials have not released names of the victims, but neighbors have told FOX 5 that the mother is 42-year-old Noera Ayaz. She is reportedly an accomplished attorney and active with Women in Islam, Inc, an organization aimed at empowering Muslim women.

FOX 5 reached out to the group, but did not receive a response.

Keys, who heads up the neighborhood's homeowner's association, said he spoke directly with a man outside of the home just moments after police arrived.

"We didn't know what was going on, so I walked over to see if we could be of any assistance and the gentleman who lived there came out of the house and was standing there visibly shaken," said Keys. "I asked him if there is anything we could do and he put his hand up and said, 'No, I can't talk to you right now.' So we took that as a hint and I came back to my house. We have got the very best police officers in the world so we wanted to get out of the way and let them do their job."

Police said autopsies will be conducted on the woman and the two children Thursday to determine the cause and manner of their deaths. Meanwhile, Fairfax County detectives are continuing their investigation.