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UPDATE: Virginia State Sen. Creigh Deeds Was ‘Stabbed Numerous Times’ by His Son, Who Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot UPDATE: Son Had ‘Emergency’ Psychiatric Evaluation Monday

Posted on | November 19, 2013 | 57 Comments

UPDATE 1:50 p.m. ET: Austin “Gus” Deeds underwent a psychiatric evaluation less than 24 hours before stabbing his father, Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds, and then committing suicide Tuesday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports:

Gus Deeds had been released Monday following a mental health evaluation performed under an emergency custody order. . .
A source 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 72 hours, under a temporary detention order.
The son was evaluated Monday by the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board in Lexington. An emergency custody order can be issued by any magistrate.
A source said no psychiatric bed was available, which is why Gus Deeds was released.

A horrible tragedy, made all the worse by knowledge that it could have been prevented if officials had recognized the danger.

* * * PREVIOUSLY (11:42 a.m. ET) * * *

Breaking news this morning from Charlottesville, Virginia, and the situation is still developing. However, it appears that state Sen. Creigh Deeds, who was the unsuccessful 2009 Democrat candidate for governor, was seriously stabbed by his own son, who then committed suicide. Authorities say the son, who had previously been reported as having substance abuse problems, apparently shot himself to death, while Sen. Deeds is hospitalized in critical condition.

UPDATE: NBC News confirms:

Virginia State Sen. Creigh Deeds was stabbed by his son, Austin “Gus” Deeds, before the son fatally shot himself, Democratic sources tell News4.
Gus Deeds died at the scene, and Creigh Deeds is in critical condition in the intensive care unit of the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, the sources said.
The incident happened in Creigh Deeds’ Bath County home (property seen in the picture below) Tuesday morning, topolice were called at 7:25 a.m. Deeds was transported by helicopter to the medical center.

UPDATE II: Statement by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell:

“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.”

UPDATE III: Latest from the Roanoke Times:

Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath County, is being treated for stab wounds to the head and upper torso at the University of Virginia Medical Center, Virginia State Police said at an afternoon media conference.
Deeds’ son, Gus, 24, died of a gunshot wound at the family’s home in the 0 block of Vineyard Drive in Millboro, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.
The motive is still being investigated, Geller said.
Another media conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. today. . . .
Deeds and [his son], now deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, were the only people at the residence at the time of the stabbing, state police Sgt. Mike King confirmed at the scene.
Deeds was stabbed numerous times before walking down a private drive and out on to Virginia 42, where he was picked up by a cousin who lives nearby, King said. Deeds was airlifted from the cousin’s farm, King added.
It was unclear how Deeds contacted the cousin.

The senator’s son, Austin “Gus” Deeds, was a 20-year-old student at the College of William & Mary in 2009 when he was charged with illegal underage possession of alcohol, although those charges were later dropped. If the son had other substance abuse problems or mental health issues, they had not previously made news.

UPDATE IV: The Roanoke Times has now done a write-through of its article, adding further information:

Deeds was stabbed “numerous times about the head and upper torso,” state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said during a news conference at Virginia State Police headquarters in Albemarle County today. . . .
Gus Deeds, 24, was found inside the residence with life-threatening injuries from a gunshot wound, Geller said, but despite the response of emergency personnel, the senator’s son died at the scene. . . .
Deeds was born in Richmond in 1958, the son of a former Richmond police officer and state worker. His parents divorced when he was 7, and he moved with his mother and younger brother, Greg, to the Millboro farm of his maternal grandparents in Bath County, where his grandfather, Austin Creigh Tyree, was chairman of the Democratic committee.
Deeds and his first wife, Pamela Kay Miller, had four children: Amanda,, Rebecca, Gus, and Susannah. . . .
Deeds and his first wife divorced in 2010. The Washington Post reported at the time that the marriage was “a casualty of a nearly 20-year pursuit of a lifelong ambition that kept him away from home.”
Deeds married Siobhan Gilbride Lomax of Lexington in June 2012.



57 Responses to “UPDATE: Virginia State Sen. Creigh Deeds Was ‘Stabbed Numerous Times’ by His Son, Who Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot UPDATE: Son Had ‘Emergency’ Psychiatric Evaluation Monday”

  1. Gus Deeds: What Went Wrong? | Dead Citizen's Rights Society
    November 19th, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

    […] up on today’s tragedy in Virginia — state Sen. Creigh Deeds was severely stabbed by his 24-year-old son, who evidently shot himself to d… — I’m trying to find what led to the fatal […]

  2. ThomasD
    November 19th, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

    Something that is really only apparent in hindsight, and represents only a very small fraction of the much larger number of people who exhibit symptoms of psychosis or other frank mental illness.

  3. Jeanette Victoria
    November 20th, 2013 @ 1:35 am

    When I worked at Metro State Hospital at Norwalk Ca I remember the number incompetent folks who had been turned out of the hospital out of “compassion” they were all living in the streets around the hospital.

  4. Jeanette Victoria
    November 20th, 2013 @ 1:37 am

    Many psych hospital have plenty of empty beds but with the down sizing they don’t have the staff

  5. Jeanette Victoria
    November 20th, 2013 @ 1:38 am

    It’s almost impossible to get someone committed these days

  6. Quartermaster
    November 20th, 2013 @ 10:59 am

    I know. You do something that works, and you’re a genius. Do something that doesn’t and you’re the biggest moron that ever lived. Damned if you, damned if you don’t.

  7. Quartermaster
    November 20th, 2013 @ 11:00 am

    It’s been a while but ISTR that many of those we would have institutionalized became homeless and lived on the streets. I don’t see that as being a result of “compassion.” Just the opposite in fact.