Fairfax County police are trying to determine what led a 26-year-old man to allegedly stab to death his 59-year-old father, a George Mason University professor, at their Vienna-area home March 2.
Police at 5:33 p.m. that day began receiving reports from residents that they had seen a shirtless man near Chain Bridge and Babcock roads who was walking down the street and covered with blood. Officers found the man and talked with him as he walked toward the town of Vienna.
Officers knew from callers’ reports that the man, later identified as Axel Buschmann, was carrying a knife under a jacket.
Buschmann discarded the weapon, a fixed-blade kitchen knife with a handle, continued talking and then sat down, said 2nd Lt. Erin Weeks from the department’s Major Crimes Bureau.
Police took the man to a nearby hospital for treatment of his non-life-threatening injuries and were able to indentify him. Officers obtained his address and went to the residence in the 9800 block of Palace Green Way, located just west of Nottoway Park, in order to do a welfare check.
Police looked through a window of the home and saw a pair of feet on the ground, Weeks said. Officers entered the residence through an unlocked door and found the suspect’s father, Michael Buschmann, who was unresponsive. The elder Buschmann had received several stab wounds to the upper torso and authorities pronounced him dead at the scene, police said.
Axel Buschmann, whom authorities have charged with second-degree murder, suffered at least one major stab wound to his torso during the altercation and is being treated at a local hospital. Once the hospital releases him, police will take him to the county’s Adult Detention Center, said Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis.
The department’s Victim Services Division will assist the Buschmann family and George Mason University in coping with the crime’s aftermath.
Michael Buschmann’s achievements and credentials were “beyond impressive,” Davis said. Buschmann, who chaired Mason’s Department of Bioengineering and Nanomedicine, originally was from Montreal and earned his doctorate in medical engineering and medical physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He did post-doctoral work in Switzerland and his research work helped launch four start-up companies, the chief said.
“He always wanted to know the answer to the next question,” Allvin said.
Police still are investigating any possible motive in the murder and whether the suspect’s wounds were self-inflicted, the chief said.
“It’s closed by an arrest, but that’s not good enough,” Davis said. “We want to figure out why.”
The homicide was the county’s fifth this year. As of that date last year, the county only had recorded two homicides.
Davis expressed bewilderment that since the start of 2021 six people in the county had been murdered inside their homes by their adult sons. A seventh domestic case involved a woman killed by her adult brother, the chief added.