Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds (D-VA 25th), the Democratic Party’s 2009 candidate for Governor of Virginia, was stabbed multiple times in the face and torso at his home in Bath County this morning. Deeds managed to walk to a nearby road where he was picked up by his cousin, who was coincidentally passing by at the time. He was airlifted to the University of Virginia Hospital and was listed for a time in critical condition, but he has since been upgraded to fair condition and is now expected to recover. According to a Virginia State Police spokesperson, Deeds was conscious and able to make statements to law enforcement officials.
Deeds’s son, Austin ‘Gus’ Deeds, was found at the home suffering from a gunshot wound and died at the scene. Police officials believe that Gus Deeds stabbed his father and then killed himself, and the assault is now being investigated as an attempted murder-suicide. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Gus had been held yesterday on an emergency custody order, and was evaluated for mental health problems, but was released to family custody due to a lack of available psychiatric beds in the western Virginia region.
Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA), who was elected in 2009 after facing Deeds in the gubernatorial race, described Deeds as an “exceptional and committed public servant” and has asked all Virginians to join in praying for him to make a complete recovery. Many other notable political figures, including Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe (D-VA), have made similar statements.