What We Know (and What We Don't) About the Stabbing of Creigh Deeds

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 19 2013 1:12 PM

What We Know (and What We Don't) About the Stabbing of Creigh Deeds

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Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds speaks during a rally on October 27, 2009 at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia

Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

A bizarre and sad story out of Virginia today: Police say that Creigh Deeds, a Virginia state senator and the 2009 Democratic nominee for governor, was rushed to the hospital this morning after he was stabbed multiple times in his home, and his adult son, Gus, was shot and killed.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said this afternoon that authorities responded to Deeds' home in western Virginia after receiving a 911 call this morning. They found the 55-year-old state lawmaker with stabs wounds to his head and chest. He was airlifted to the University of Virginia Medical Center, where he is critical condition but said to be alert and able to communicate. His 24-year-old son died at home, according to Geller.

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As of now, that's all we really know for certain (or as certain as we can be in developing-story situations like this one).

What We Think We Know

At a noon press conference, Geller said that police are not currently looking for any suspects, something that suggested no one else was involved in the altercation. At a second briefing later in the day, she said that the police's current working theory is that Gus stabbed his father before turning the gun on himself.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch, which broke the story this morning, reports that Gus had been released from an area hospital Monday following a mental health evaluation performed under an emergency custody order. Dennis Cropper, executive director of the Rockbridge County Community Services Board, told the Disptach that Gus was released because (in the paper's words) "no psychiatric bed could be located across a wide area of western Virginia."

According to an officer at the scene that the Roanoke Times, spoke with, the senator was able to walk down his private driveway and to the road after being stabbed. Upon reaching Va-42, Deeds was picked up by a cousin who lives nearby. The senator was then airlifted from the cousin's farm, according to Sgt. Mike King.

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This post has been updated with additional information as it became available.

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