George Mason professor fatally stabbed in Fairfax County; son charged

A man has been charged with murder after his father was stabbed to death inside the family’s Fairfax County, Virginia, home on Wednesday, the police said.

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said that Axel Buschmann, 26, of Vienna, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his father, Michael Buschmann, 59, of Vienna,  Wednesday evening.



Michael Buschmann chaired the department of bioengineering and nanomedicine at George Mason University.

Around 5 p.m. Wednesday, 2nd Lt. Erin Weeks said, the police got multiple calls about a man who was walking down the road and covered in blood.

Weeks said that responding officers arrived on the scene to find Axel Buschmann shirtless with his torso covered in blood. Davis added later that Buschmann was carrying a jacket of some kind and had knife underneath the jacket.

Weeks said that the officers calmly walked with Axel Buschmann toward the town of Vienna, and he discarded the knife during that time. Once officers were able to get Buschmann to sit down, he was taken to a hospital to have at least one significant stab wound in his chest treated.

Based on some statements that Axel Buschmann had made to police, Weeks said, officers conducted a welfare check at his home on Palace Green Way.

When they arrived at the home, authorities noticed two feet on the floor when peering through the window. Officers entered through an unlocked door and pronounced Michael Buschmann dead on the scene due to “several stab wounds,” Davis said.

Davis said there was no motive to speak about at this moment, but did note that this killing is part of a disturbing trend in the county.

“What’s driving the homicides? Very specific answer: Adult sons, in some type of crisis, killing their parents inside their homes,” Davis said. “And this isn’t the first stabbing we’ve had. Stabbings … are very personal and often vicious crime scenes.”

Davis said stabbings carried out by adult sons comprised nearly one-third of Fairfax County’s 21 killings last year. There were 15 homicides in 2020.

“We are crushed and anguished by this shocking news of Dr. Buschmann’s tragic death,” said Paul Allvin, a spokesman for George Mason University. “We did lose a great mind, a great teacher and, by all accounts, a good and decent human being.”

Allvin said that Michael Buschmann had been working on technology that would make mRNA vaccines less costly with fewer side effects and more widely available to the world. Some COVID-19 vaccines are made using mRNA.

Michael Buschmann earned a Ph.D. in medical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992. He previously worked at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec, from 1994 until he was recruited to work for Mason in 2017.

Buschmann’s murder is the fifth homicide this year in Fairfax County.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 703-246-7800, option 2.

Below is the area where the stabbing took place:

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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