Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds was stabbed by his 24 year old son Gus Deeds, in an attempted murder-suicide earlier this morning. Creigh Deeds is said to be in stable condition at a Virginia hospital after being stabbed multiple times. His son Gus Deeds, who had a history of mental issues, was pronounced dead at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The stab wounds in Creigh Deeds’ head and upper torso were almost enough to kill him say hospital officials. Luckily for Creigh Deeds his cousin happened to be driving along the road where Deeds was walking down to find help following the attack. The 911 call was made at the cousin’s house minutes after the attack.
The ambulance arrived at Creigh Deeds’ cousin’s house where he was then transported to a relative’s farm to be airlifted by helicopter to the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville at 7:25am. Police said Creigh Deeds had suffered “serious injuries” in the attack.
Gus Deeds is the senator’s only son. He attended the College of William and Mary in Virginia, withdrawing from the university last month. According to officials at the college he had been a student on and off since 2007.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell spoke publically about the incident, calling the incident “utterly heartbreaking.”
“In this tough and sad time, our thoughts and prayers are with the Deeds family,” said Governor Bob McDonnell. Governor McDonnell went on to say that Creigh Deeds is an “exceptional and committed public servant,” and thanked him for his service to Virginia.
“I urge all Virginians today to join me in praying for a full and complete recovery for Creigh,”
The Treatment Advocacy Center, a Virginia-based non-profit organization that is centered around the treatment of severe mental illness says Virginia is well below the capacity necessary to deal with Virginia’s mentally ill population, saying that the state has only 15% of the beds needed for the mentally ill based on population size.
Doris A. Fuller, the director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, said in a statement that the elimination of hospital beds has put back on the streets young adults and the elderly who are in dire need of mental illness treatment.
“If there had been a hospital bed available for Gus Deeds, he may be alive today, and his father would not be grievously wounded,” said Doris A. Fuller in a statement.
The debate over the treatment and diagnosis of mental illness continues after several incidents over the past few years involving violent acts committed by those with histories of mental disorders. The Navy Yard shooter was said to have been diagnosed with an array of mental disorders and paranoid delusions, claiming at one point that the government had been sending microwaves through his body.
Creigh Deeds has served in the Virginia state Senate since 2001, and unsuccessfully ran for Governor in 2009. The man who beat him in that election, now Governor McDonnell, has asked for the state to pray with him for Sen. Deeds’ quick recovery.
by John Amaruso