Son of former Virginia state senator kills ex-girlfriend's beau, commits suicide

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The son of a former Virginia state senator killed himself Tuesday after he kidnapped his ex-girlfriend, killed the woman’s current boyfriend, and then led police on a 30-mile chase, law enforcement officials said.

Todd T. Houck, 36, the son of former Sen. R. Edward Houck, D-Spotsylvania, began the crime spree when he shot 36-year-old Jeremy Gift at the Relax Inn in Bowling Green around 8 a.m., according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. A witness who heard a loud argument apparently coming from Gift’s room called 911. Police arrived at the hotel just as Houck was leaving the scene in a Mercury Mountaineer with his 34-year-old former partner, the Washington Post reported.

The arriving deputies from the Caroline County sheriff’s department saw Houck with a gun in his hand and immediately gave chase, pursuing the SUV from the hotel parking lot, through the town of Bowling Green and onto I-95, where state police joined the hunt, the Post reported.

After nearly 30 miles, the SUV stopped, striking a state police vehicle near mile marker 124 around 8:38 a.m., the Times-Dispatch said. That’s when authorities heard a single gunshot coming from the SUV, where they later found Houck dead of an apparent suicide. The unidentified woman was unharmed.

“It’s a tragedy to all the families and we’ve got more victims – the family members,” Sheriff Tony Lippa told the Times-Dispatch.

Houck’s father, “Edd” Houck, served in the state senate from 1984 until 2012. He was defeated in 2011 by Sen. Bryce Reeves.