State Senator Creigh Deeds in ‘fair’ condition following stabbing

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BATH COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds' condition has been upgraded from critical to fair after he was stabbed "multiple times" during a fight with his son Tuesday morning, according to Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

The senator's son, 24-year-old Gus Deeds, died in the family's Bath County home from a gunshot wound, Geller said. Police are investigating the incident as an attempted-murder and suicide.

Virginia State Police were called to Sen. Deeds’ Millboro-area home about 7:25 a.m. Tuesday.

Senator Deeds' son, Austin 'Gus' Deeds, was found inside the residence, suffering from life-threatening injuries associated with a gunshot wound,” Geller said. “Despite efforts by trooper and first responders, he died at the scene."

Before victims can be med-flighted, they must be stabilized. In a 3:30 p.m. press conference, Geller said that Creigh Deeds’ cousin found him walking on the road near the house, bleeding profusely.

Sen. Deeds was stabbed multiple times in the head and upper torso, police said.

"After the stabbing, Senator Deeds left the scene on foot and walked down the hill of his residence to Route 42," according to Geller. "The injured senator was spotted and picked up by a cousin who was driving along Route 42. The two drove to the cousin’s residence where the 911 call was placed to the sheriff’s office."

A friend of the Deeds’ family said that the cousin that the cousin’s wife, a nurse, focused on stopping the bleeding. With Deeds’ stabilized, he was flown to University of Virginia Medical Center.

Citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy laws (HIPAA), Geller would not confirm, or comment, on earlier reports that Deeds was experiencing mental health problems.

Gus Deeds underwent a mental evaluation Monday, according to a report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. A family friend of the Deeds’ told CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit that Gus was experiencing mental health problems and the family wanted to admit him to an institution.

"Dennis Cropper, executive director of the Rockbridge County Community Services Board, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the emergency custody order, or ECO, allowed Gus Deeds to be held as long as four hours to determine whether he should be held longer, up to 48 hours, under a temporary detention order," the newspaper reported. "The son was evaluated Monday at Bath Community Hospital, Cropper said, but was released because no psychiatric bed could be located across a wide area of western Virginia."

Bath County Sheriff told CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit that they were called to the Deeds’ residence on Monday, at 11 a.m., but declined to comment why.

bathcountyaerialThe investigation into the motive and sequence of events regarding Tuesday's violence remained under investigation, Geller said.

Sen. Deeds has been able to speak to investigators, however Geller would not share what was said.

"Unfortunately it's not like a TV show where you can have an entire case wrapped in an hour," Geller said. "It's a very complex investigation treated like any incident we'd respond to. There's a substantial amount of evidence that must be collected and maintained."

Geller said a weapon was recovered from the scene. Around 6 p.m. the Bath County Sheriff said that they are stopping the investigation for the evening, and will resume tomorrow.

Gus Deeds had been a student at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg.

"William & Mary is very saddened to hear this tragic news. Gus Deeds was a member of the William & Mary community. He had been enrolled as a student at William & Mary since 2007, though not continuously. He withdrew from the College last month and was not currently enrolled at the time of his death. Our hearts go out to the entire Deeds family," William & Mary Associate Vice President Communications and University Relations Brian Whitson wrote in a statement.

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Salem Field Office is investigating the incident.

Deeds now represents the 25th District, known as Bath County, which is west of Charlottesville. In the past Deeds has lost two races to Gov. Bob McDonnell. He lost the attorney general race to McDonnell in 2005 by a narrow margin of 360 votes. Then in 2009 he ran against McDonnell for governor of Virginia.

Gov. McDonnell issued a statement about Deeds' assault:

"In this tough and sad time, our thoughts and prayers are with the Deeds family. The news from this morning is utterly heartbreaking. Creigh Deeds is an exceptional and committed public servant who has always done what he believes is best for Virginia and who gives his all to public service. He cares deeply about Virginia, and the people of Virginia care deeply for him. I urge all Virginians today to join me in praying for a full and complete recovery for Creigh and for many more years of his public service to the Commonwealth. At this moment, our state unites in prayer for Creigh Deeds and his family."

Click here to read more support statements of support  for Sen. Deeds.

Watch CBS 6 News for updates on this developing story.


  • Tar Zan

    My thoughts are with Mt. Deeds and his family, as they are with all victims of unprovoked assault and murder. I just wish all assaults and murder in the state gained this type of attention from politicians.

  • Lisa

    @ Tar Zan – There is currently no evidence that this was an unprovoked attack, as you stated. I have to disagree that all such cases should receive media attention. That makes celebrities out of criminals and I think we can all agree that they don’t deserve the attention.

    • Tar Zan

      If you want to get technical, I didn’t say media attention. Almost all murders gain media attention already. I said attention from politicians. My point being politicians should be more mindful and vocal about all murders across their entire jurisdiction.

      • Bob Lassiter

        Why didn’t Mr. Deeds contact the hospital that stated they did not have a bed for his son with in 24 hrs , he would have found out there were hospitals near by with opening. The senator must have have more pressing and important matters to take care of.

        FOOD FOR THOUGH : If we had a few sons or daughters of our elite law makers in the military and one of them died in battle you would see a change on how fast they sent our troops off to war………………………..

  • RS

    In 1963, President Kennedy signed legislation that destroyed the US mental health system and replaced it with “community-based” healthcare and the mainstreaming of the mentally ill into their parents’ homes and on the street. It was a triumph of the ACLU, the do/feel-gooders and funded by the pharmaceutical industry who proclaimed that wonder anti-psychotic meds had cured mental illness, making everyone safe. The mental hospitals were closed, the ill released to inhabit the streets, cursing at unseen voices.

    Now, the mentally ill walk freely and the sane hide behind locked doors in fear.

    It’s PAST time to revisit these laws and increase our ability to do something with the mentally ill other than put them in prison or on the street.

    Or in this case, to be warehoused at their parent’s home to terrorize and kill their own loved ones in a waking nightmare that will not end.

    Cho, Laughner, Holmes, Lanza… all schizophrenics. All on the street due to “community” health care. All mass murderers.

    We need to change.

  • Glen Allen

    I think that more attention/funding at the General Assembly level is needed regarding mental health services. This event (and many others) could have been prevented had there been a bed for this young man that was obviously in need of treatment. I think it is sad that we send billions of dollars all over the world to help other countries and leave our own needs unfunded.

  • Dustin Cavanaugh

    After Virginia Tech there was a lot of grants for mental health. When it died down they lost funding. I am diagnosed with Bipolar Type 1, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, ADHD, Dysgraphia, and a Motor Tic. When I went to RBHA I was told I could not go because there was not enough funding and they were not taking and I quote “Highly functional cases” yet look at the majority of school shooters. By their standards they would be considered highly functional as well. It’s the intelligent people’s mental health you should be most concerned about because they are capable of much more. I was referred to the daily planet for the homeless. I have since had to drop my psychiatrist because he would only have 5 minute visits with me and really didn’t ask much of anything. “How are you doing?” I respond “Ok, I guess”, “Ok here is your prescription come back in 2 months” That’s how it went. I used to go to RBHA. I know psychiatrists are supposed to ask a bit more than that. It’s obvious he just wants a paycheck. The faster in and out the quicker he gets paid and the less work he has to do. I tried again to go to RBHA. I was told I would be called at the end of August. It is now November. In September I called multiple times leaving messages with RBHA asking why I have not received a call or any mail. Still have not received a call back. This is the reality. People don’t think until it’s too late to do so.

  • Becky

    Find it amazing odd that a critically wounded man, with a son lying there dying, wouldn’t call 911 from his own house in such an dire and extreme Emergency.
    “After the stabbing, Senator Deeds left the scene on foot and walked down the hill of his residence to Route 42,” according to Geller. “The injured senator was spotted and picked up by a cousin who was driving along Route 42. The two drove to the cousin’s residence where the 911 call was placed to the sheriff’s office.”
    The son was later found was found inside the residence, suffering from life-threatening injuries associated with a gunshot wound,” Geller said. “Despite efforts by trooper and first responders, he died at the scene.”

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