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‘Terrible, Terrible Tragedy’: Bioengineering Professor Was Stabbed to Death by His Son, Police Say

University of picture of Michael Buschmann.

Michael Buschmann.

A Virginia man allegedly stabbed his professor father to death at their home, left the scene, and walked down the road covered in blood.

Axel Buschmann, 26, faces a count of second-degree murder for allegedly killing bioengineering expert Michael Buschmann, 59, according to police in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Cops said they were called to the intersection of Chain Bridge Road and Babcock Road on Wednesday regarding a man in the road with a knife. The individual was covered in blood. Officers said the man discarded a jacket on the ground, and authorities noticed a kitchen knife near the jacket as he walked away. Police said they managed to take him safely into custody.

The man had multiple lacerations to his neck, police Lt. Erin Weeks told reporters in a press conference on Thursday.

Responding to a reporter’s question, Fairfax Police Chief Kevin Davis said it was possible the defendant’s wounds were self-inflicted.

“We don’t know yet, but that’s certainly a strong, strong possibility,” he said. Davis added that the investigation in this “[t]errible, terrible tragedy” is ongoing.

Citing statements made by defendant Buschmann, officers performed a welfare check on his home on the 9800 block of Palace Green Way. Looking through a window, officers saw two feet lying on the ground, Weeks said. Cops entered through an unlocked door, and found Professor Buschmann unresponsive. Fire and rescue personnel pronounced the victim dead at the scene.

Defendant Buschmann was receiving treatment at a hospital. Police did not release details on how the incident started, but they said father and son were the only two people home at the time.

The victim was a bioengineering professor at George Mason University.

“We are crushed and anguished by this shocking news of Professor Buschmann’s tragic death,” said Paul G. Allvin, Vice President and Chief of Communications at the school.

“I personally did not have the opportunity to meet him, but what we heard from his colleagues this morning who knew him and were beginning the process of reflecting and remembering, first and foremost was his relentlessly inquisitive nature,” he said at the press conference.

Allvin described him as a great teacher.

“His students, as we understand, valued his classes and learned from them,” he said.

Buschmann joined the university in 2017 with his wife Caroline Hoemann, who is also a bioengineering professor, according to a statement from the school. He was working on making mRNA vaccines, such as COVID-19 vaccines, less expensive and and more available.

“Buschmann recently formed the start-up AexeRNA Therapeutics Inc., in partnership with the university’s Office of Technology Transfer (OTT),” the school said of the late professor’s work. “He and his team had licensed the commercial rights of four patent applications to the company. The technology would make mRNA vaccines such as the COVID-19 vaccines less costly, with fewer side-effects and more available worldwide.”

From police:

Detectives are asking anyone who may have information about this incident to contact them at 703-246-7800, option 2. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), by text – Type “FCCS” plus tip to 847411, and by web – Click HERE. Download our Mobile tip411 App “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.

[Image via George Mason University]

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