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Prominent Va. attorney and lawmaker stabbed by son in attempted murder-suicide, authorities say

Posted Nov 19, 2013 11:50 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A prominent Virginia attorney and state lawmaker was stabbed Tuesday morning by an adult son during an attack at his home, and is in fair condition after being airlifted to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.

Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, 55, was initially reported to be in critical condition there with stab wounds to his head and torso but had been upgraded to fair condition by Tuesday afternoon, according to the New York Times (req. reg.) and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

State police said the senator's son, Austin "Gus" Deeds, 24, was found at the Millsboro home with self-inflicted gunshot wounds and died at the scene after authorities responded to a 911 call concerning what a spokeswoman described as "an attempted murder-suicide," according to the newspapers.

CNN, Fox News and USA Today also have stories.

An investigation by state police is ongoing. There are unconfirmed reports that Gus Deeds was taken for an emergency psychiatric evaluation on Monday but was not hospitalized because no beds were available in the region.

Creigh Deeds is a 1984 graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law, and has served in the state senate since 2001, according to his senate biography. A former Bath County prosecutor who maintains a private law practice, he was defeated in election bids for the state attorney general's office in 2005 and state governor in 2009.

Gov. Bob McDonnell, who defeated Deeds in both elections, called the news of the attack at his home "heartbreaking" in a written statement provided to CNN.

"In this tough and sad time, our thoughts and prayers are with the Deeds family. The news from this morning is utterly heartbreaking," he said. "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."

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