George Mason Law Professor Kills Self, Son

McLEAN, Va. (AP) -- A former Commerce Department official killed his 12-year-old son and himself early Friday following an apparent domestic dispute, police said.

Police found the bodies of William Lash III, 45, a law professor at George Mason University and a former assistant secretary of commerce, and his son William IV inside a bedroom of their home following a barricade that lasted more than six hours, said Mary Ann Jennings, a Fairfax County police spokeswoman.

Lash's wife called police Thursday night and said her husband and son were barricaded inside the home, Jennings said. Shortly after officers arrived, they heard two gunshots inside.

A preliminary investigation indicates it was a murder-suicide, police said. Both had been shot in the upper body with a shotgun found nearby, police said.

Neighbors said the boy was autistic. A school colleague and neighbors told The Washington Post that Lash was devoted to his son and often took him to Nationals games.

Lash was assistant secretary of commerce from 2001 until last year.

Details here from the AP via the New York Times.