Va. State Senator Creigh Deeds, Former Candidate For Governor, Stabbed In Home

Creigh Deeds, a Virginia State Senator who was the Democratic Party’s nominee for Governor in 2009, is in a Charlottesville hospital in critical condition after what appears to be an attack by his son, who was found dead of a gunshot wound:

Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, is in critical condition after being stabbed in his home and his son Gus is dead from a gunshot wound, law enforcement sources told the Richmond Times-Dispatch this morning.

Deeds is being treated at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Authorities said they are trying to determine the sequence of events at the Deeds home in Bath County early today.

In a news release, Virginia State Police said they responded to Deeds’ home in Millboro at 7:25 a.m., and that the lawmaker was flown from  to the U.Va. medical center.

“Virginia State Police are on the scene of an assault of a state legislator that took place Tuesday morning,” the news release said. “Senator Creigh Deeds has been transported to U.Va. Hospital in Charlottesville for treatment of serious injuries sustained in the assault at his residence.”

Regarding Deeds’ son, state police would only say that “a second individual at the residence is deceased.”

Subsequent reports quote State Police officials as saying they believe that Deeds’ son, who had made headlines during the 2009 campaign due to run ins with the law involving alcohol when he was still under the legal drinking age, stabbed his father before killing himself. Truly a tragedy, and hopefully the Senator makes it through.

Update: The exact circumstances of what happened remain unclear, but it appears that Gus Deeds has been suffering from mental health problems:

Sen. Creigh Deeds was stabbed multiple times early today at his Bath County home and his son, Gus, is dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Gus Deeds had been released Monday following a mental health evaluation performed under an emergency custody order, an official said.

At a news conference in Charlottesville, a Virginia State Police spokeswoman said Deeds, 55, was stabbed numerous times in the head and torso but was alert and had given statements to authorities. She said Deeds, who was being treated at the University of Virginia Medical Center, had been seriously wounded.

Dennis Cropper, executive director of the Rockbridge County Community Services Board, 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 48 hours, under a temporary detention order.

The son was evaluated Monday at Bath Community Hospital, Cropper said, but was released because no psychiatric bed could be located across a wide area of western Virginia.

Various unconfirmed reports continue to suggest that the younger Deeds’ sons wounds were “apparently” self-inflicted, but that raises the question of why, if he had a gun, he didn’t shoot his father. In any case, the story just seems tragic all around, and perhaps another sign of the failure of the nation’s mental health care system.


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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. CSK says:

    There seems to be some waffling now about who did the shooting. Gus Deeds had been evaluated Monday under an emergency custody order, but was released–according to one article–because there was no bed available in the mental health facility.

    Creigh Deeds was stabbed in the head and upper torso. After the assault, he apparently summoned a cousin (how is unspecified) and walked down the driveway of his house to meet the cousin.

    It seems odd if Gus had a gun, he’d use a knife on his father. Maybe the shooting was by the elder Deeds in self-defense. However it happened, it’s horrific. Deepest sympathy to the Deeds family.