As tributes continued to stream in from across the state for Bruce F. Jamerson, the Virginia State Police confirmed Monday afternoon that the agency is investigating the longtime clerk’s death.
Police were contacted at 11:52 p.m. Sunday to search for Jamerson, according to a statement issued by the State Police.
Jamerson’s abandoned car was found at Watkins Landing along the James River. The State Police and the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office began searching the area.
At approximately 2:30 a.m. Monday, a State Police bloodhound located Jamerson’s body along a path near the river. It was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond for an autopsy.
The cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The Washington Post generally does not report on suicides, except in cases of public figures whose deaths would be newsworthy under any circumstance.
“Bruce Jamerson loved the House of Delegates,” said House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong (D-Henry). “Apart from his wife and daughter, he didn’t care about anything more than the House of Delegates. It was his life.”
Armstrong, who was elected the year that Jamerson became clerk two decades ago, said the two men grew up in the House together.
Brian Moran, chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, said, “I am deeply saddened by the passing of one of the most dedicated and professional public servants I have ever known.” Moran, a former delegate, added: “Bruce Jamerson had the unenviable job of keeping 100 unruly Virginia delegates organized and on task day after day, and he performed that duty with a grace and humor that were uniquely his own.”
Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax), who met Jamerson when Saslaw was a young delegate and Jamerson the House’s deputy clerk, said: “He ate, slept and drank the job. He loved it. He was always nice as can be. Just so even-tempered. It’s what makes this so mind-boggling.”
Former governor George Allen, who served in the House of Delegates and is now running for U.S. Senate, said: “Bruce Jamerson was a smart, dedicated professional who loved his essential work in the Virginia House of Delegates. He led with dignity, fairness and adherence to principles. I will be forever grateful and in admiration of his leadership through the years.”
Former governor Tim Kaine (D), who is also running for U.S. Senate, said: “Bruce Jamerson was a dedicated public servant and will be deeply missed. He devoted his life to the House of Delegates and always put the long-term good of the institution above any other consideration. My wife Anne has known Bruce since they were teenagers, and I started to work closely with him when I was elected Lieutenant Governor. We will keep his friends and family in our prayers.”
This post has been updated since it was first published.