Virginia state lawmaker and former candidate for governor Creigh Deeds, who was stabbed several times at his home Tuesday, was just upgraded to fair condition. His son, who was found dead earlier this morning after the attack, had just undergone a mental health evaluation and was cleared 24 hours earlier.
Virginia State Police Public Relations Manager Corinne Geller said at a press conference after Deeds was stabbed in both the head and upper torso several times, he actually walked out of his Millboro home, and was then picked up by a cousin along Virginia Route 42. Deeds had been transported earlier to a nearby farm and subsequently airlifted to UVA Hospital in Charlottesville.
Corinne Geller told the media that when authorities arrived at Deeds’ home they found his son Gus Deeds, 24, suffering from injuries sustained from a life-threatening gunshot wound. He later died at the scene, however, despite valiant efforts by police and first responders. Gus Deeds’ body was transferred to a medical examiner in Roanoke, Virginia, where an autopsy will take place.
An official told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Gus Deeds underwent a mental health evaluation Monday at Bath Community Hospital, which was actually conducted under an emergency custody order.
Dennis Cropper, who is the executive director of the Rockbridge County Community Services Board, told the Times-Dispatch that Gus Deeds was in fact released later that very day because, unbelievably there were no available psychiatric beds to be found in the entire Western Virginia area.
Virginia and national Democratic Party sources cited Virginia law enforcement authorities who told them that Gus Deeds stabbed his father before shooting himself.
Creigh Deeds was initially hospitalized and classified to be in critical condition, but his status has been upgraded to fair.
As far as a motive, Police are still investigating, but they are not looking for any suspects at this stage. Geller said authorities are treating the incident and investigation into the events as an attempted murder and suicide.
“It’s a very complex investigation,” Geller said. She added that police have been able to talk with the senator, but she wouldn’t make public the content of that conversation, or what he said to her if anything, at all.
Creigh Deeds, who is a former Bath County prosecutor, was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1991 and then to the state Senate in 2001 during a special election following the death of Emily Couric.
In 2005, he lost a Virginia attorney general race to current Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, with the margin of victory was fewer than 400 votes out of nearly 2 million cast.
In 2009, he lost again to McDonnell in the governor’s race.
“In this tough and sad time, our thoughts and prayers are with the Deeds family. The news from this morning is utterly heartbreaking,” McDonnell said in a statement. “At this moment, our state unites in prayer for Creigh Deeds and his family.”
Deeds, a rural Democrat who drafted a constitutional amendment guaranteeing Virginians’ right to hunt, was one of the few remaining Democrats who enjoy the backing of the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocacy groups.
Deeds and his wife, Pam, divorced shortly after the 2009 campaign, but we have no information to suggest that played any role in the tragic event.