Police Believe Va. Senator was Stabbed by Son
The son of Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds stabbed his father in the head and chest Tuesday before apparently killing himself with a gun, according to initial reports from police.
Authorities were still piecing together a motive and the circumstances that led up to the stabbing of Deeds, the Democrats’ gubernatorial nominee four years ago.
"We’re leaning towards it being an attempted murder/suicide," Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corrine Geller said at an afternoon news conference. However, she said that finding wasn’t yet definitive.
Deeds’ 24-year-old son, Gus, died at the home of a gunshot wound. Geller said Creigh (kree) Deeds and his son were the only people at the home Tuesday morning and they were not looking for a suspect.
The senator, known for his reserved demeanor and humble farmland roots, was in fair condition at a hospital Tuesday afternoon. He had previously been listed in critical.
Deeds made his first bid for statewide office in 2005 when he ran for attorney general and narrowly lost to current Gov. Bob McDonnell in the general election. Four years later, McDonnell beat Deeds again in the race for governor, though by a much wider margin.
After the stabbing, Deeds was able to walk away from his home to a nearby road in rural western Virginia and a cousin who was driving by happened to spot the senator, police said. They drove to the cousin’s home and 911 was called from there.
Inside the senator’s home in Millboro, authorities found Gus Deeds suffering from a gunshot wound. Despite efforts by state troopers and first responders, he died there.
She said police have been able to talk with the senator, but Geller wouldn’t reveal what he has said.
Deeds, a former Bath County prosecutor, was elected to the House of Delegates in 1991 and to the state Senate in 2001. He ran for attorney general in 2005, but lost to McDonnell, a Republican. The margin of victory was fewer than 400 votes out of nearly 2 million cast.
Deeds and McDonnell squared off again in 2009 in the race for governor after Deeds defeated Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran in the Democratic primary, but Deeds lost badly in the general election.
Gus Deeds is one of the senator’s four adult children. He was studying music at the College of William and Mary, where he had been enrolled off and on since 2007, but withdrew last month, school spokesman Brian Whitson said. The college said he had a strong academic record. It did not say why he left.
During Deeds’ bid for governor, his son took off a semester to join his dad on the campaign trail.