Investigators found the bodies of the former official, William Lash III, 45, a law professor at George Mason University and a former assistant secretary of commerce, and his son William IV in a bedroom of their home, said Mary Ann Jennings, a spokeswoman for the police in Fairfax County.
Mr. Lash’s wife called the police on Thursday night and said her husband and son were barricaded inside the home, Ms. Jennings said.
Shortly after officers arrived, they heard two gunshots inside, the police said.
A preliminary investigation indicated it was a murder-suicide, the police said. Both Mr. Lash and his son had been shot in the upper body with a shotgun found nearby, they said.
Neighbors said the boy was autistic.
Mr. Lash was assistant secretary of commerce from 2001 until last year.