Career US diplomat killed by husband in apparent murder-suicide

June 9, 2019

A government official from the U.S. Commerce Department was found dead in her Washington home on Friday, the victim of an apparent murder-suicide.

Lola Gulomova, 45, was shot and killed by her husband — 51-year-old Jason Rieff — who then turned the gun on himself and took his own life as police arrived at the couple’s home to conduct a welfare check. Gulomova was unresponsive by the time authorities secured the scene, according to reports from the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.

Murder-suicide rocks D.C.

Rieff was discovered with a handgun on or near his body after police stormed the couple’s Northwest D.C. home. He was subsequently rushed to the hospital for life-saving medical care but died en route to the facility.

Homicide detectives described the incident as “domestic in nature.” The couple had two children who were not present at the time of the event.

Police arrived on the 4300 block of Windom Place NW around 9:25 a.m. to conduct a welfare check. This basic law enforcement function is carried out when a concerned party calls authorities because they fear that someone’s life could be in danger.

Police were able to enter the residence and observe Reiff holding a gun. “Officers heard a gunshot then found the adult male suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” explains a statement from local police. “An unconscious and unresponsive adult female was also found inside the residence suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.”

“Preliminary investigation by detectives from the Homicide Branch suggest that Ms. Gulomova’s death is a homicide and Mr. Rieff’s death is a suicide,” police reported.

Career diplomat

Gulomova enjoyed a long and successful career in government service before her life was brought to a premature end. Originally from Tajikistan, Gulomova graduated from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University in 2001, before landing a job with the World Bank as a consultant.

By 2006, Gulomova was working for NASA as the deputy Russia representative at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. She was tasked with maintaining bilateral space relations with Russia and ensuring that American astronauts using the International Space Station received all of the support they needed.

Gulomova was exceptionally busy since joining the U.S. Commerce Department in 2008. Her diplomatic posts included duties in Guangzhou, China; Taipei, Taiwan; and New Delhi, India.

While working in India, Gulomova helped welcome former President Barack Obama during a November 2010 diplomatic visit to the South Asian country. She played a key role in attracting foreign investment in developing economies and promoting the development of civil aviation and energy interests abroad.

“We lost a true friend of Uzbekistan. My deepest sympathies to her close ones,” Javlon Vakhabov, the Uzbek Ambassador to the United States, said after hearing the news of his colleague’s death.

“Have met her last week at the [embassy]. She was supposed to leave for Tashkent [on Saturday] to lead [the] first-ever trade mission to Uzbekistan,” Vakhbov added.


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Benjamin Baird

Benjamin Baird is a senior staff writer for the Conservative Institute. He is a veteran infantryman of Iraq and Afghanistan with over 1000 days in combat and holds a degree in Middle Eastern studies from the American Military University. Ben is Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and has written for dozens of conservative publications, including The Daily Caller, American Spectator, American Thinker, New English Review and Jewish News Syndicate.