Updated 6:45 p.m.
A former Democratic nominee for governor of Virginia was stabbed multiple times at his home Tuesday in an altercation with his son who died of a gunshot wound that may have been self-inflicted. Police said they were investigating whether Creigh Deeds was a victim of an attempted murder and whether his 24-year-old son Gus then committed suicide
Deeds, who was the 2009 Democratic nominee for governor, was in fair condition and recovering at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. He was “stabbed multiple times on the head and upper torso,” Corinne Geller, public relations manager for the Virginia State Police, said Tuesday afternoon during a press conference.
His son, Gus, was also found inside the residence suffering from fatal gunshot wounds and died on the scene, Geller said.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Gus Deeds had received a psychiatric evaluation at a hospital in Bath County, Virginia but was not admitted because no bed was available.
Dennis A. Cropper, executive editor of the Rockbridge Area Community Services, told NBC News he could not confirm whether an emergency custody order was issued for Gus Deeds in the case out of “respect for the family’s privacy.” But he said the professional evaluation in the typical ECO procedure can take up to four hours. ”Within those four hours, if a mental health professional determines that they need a psychiatric bed space, they have to use those same four hours to locate a receiving facility,” Cropper explained. “In certain conditions a two-hour extension is granted by a magistrate, but under no circumstances can a person be held beyond six hours involuntarily under an ECO.”
Democrats and Republicans across Virginia issued statements of support and prayer for the family.
“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,” said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. “He cares deeply about Virginia, and the people of Virginia care deeply for him.”
“This is a truly sad day for Virginia and for the many people who know Creigh as the fine public servant and friend he is,” Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe said.
The investigation is ongoing, but officials are not currently searching for suspects. Police are on scene working to declare a motive.
“As details emerge, please join with us in sending prayers to strengthen and uplift the Deeds family and all those affected by this terrible tragedy,” said Charniele Herring, chair of Virginia’s Democratic Party.