Virginia state senator injured in son’s apparent murder-suicide attempt

Posted on: 2:11 pm, November 20, 2013, by

Senator Creigh Deeds photo from SenatorDeeds.com

Senator Creigh Deeds photo from SenatorDeeds.com

(CNN) — Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds, apparently stabbed repeatedly by his son who later killed himself, is now in good condition, a hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Deeds was admitted to the University of Virginia hospital in Charlottesville on Tuesday in critical condition.

Deeds’ cousin found the 2009 Democratic nominee for governor walking down a road near his home Tuesday morning, bleeding from multiple stab wounds to his head and chest, state police reported.

State troopers who went to Deeds’ home in Millboro, about 150 miles west of Richmond, found the lawmaker’s son, 24-year-old Austin “Gus” Deeds, with a gunshot wound, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.

Troopers were unable to save him.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper, citing a mental health official, reported Tuesday that the younger Deeds had been given a mental health evaluation under an emergency custody order Monday.

But Dennis Cropper, executive director of the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board, said that Austin Deeds had been released because no psychiatric bed could be found for him across a wide area of western Virginia, the newspaper reported.

The incident stunned the political community in Virginia, where Deeds is a well-known lawmaker who ran for attorney general and governor.

The man who defeated him in both races, current Gov. Bob McDonnell, called Tuesday’s events “heartbreaking.”