State Sen. Creigh Deeds has been released from the University of Virginia hospital in Charlottesville, a hospital source said Friday.
Deeds was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday in critical condition after he was apparently stabbed repeatedly by his son who later killed himself.
Deeds posted the following message on Twitter after his release from the hospital:
I am alive so must live. Some wounds won't heal. Your prayers and your friendship are important to me—
Creigh Deeds (@CreighDeeds) November 22, 2013
Deeds’ cousin found the 2009 Democratic nominee for governor walking down a road near his home Tuesday morning, bleeding from multiple stab wounds to his head and chest, state police reported.
State troopers who went to Deeds’ home in Millboro, about 150 miles west of Richmond, found the lawmaker’s son, 24-year-old Austin “Gus” Deeds, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound fired from a rifle, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.
Troopers were unable to save him.
A weapon believed to have been used in the stabbing was recovered as well but the type of weapon has not been released.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper, citing a mental health official, reported Tuesday that the younger Deeds had been given a mental health evaluation under an emergency custody order Monday.
Virginia State Police are confirming that the Bath County Sheriff’s Office did respond to the Deeds residence on Monday for a non-emergency call for assistance. No arrests were made and no charges were placed.
Dennis Cropper, executive director of the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board, said that Austin Deeds had been released because no psychiatric bed could be found for him across a wide area of western Virginia, the newspaper reported.
Governor McDonnell released a statement Tuesday morning following the incident:
“In this tough and sad time, our thoughts and prayers are with the Deeds family. The news from this morning is utterly heartbreaking. 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. I urge all Virginians today to join me in praying for a full and complete recovery for Creigh and for many more years of his public service to the Commonwealth. At this moment, our state unites in prayer for Creigh Deeds and his family.”
Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe also sent out a statement regarding the incident:
“Dorothy and I are praying for Senator Creigh Deeds and his family in the wake of this awful tragedy. 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. We join people across the Commonwealth and country in wishing him a full recovery.”
Gus Deeds was a student at William and Mary since 2007. He withdrew from the College last month.
The school released a statement saying in part:
“William & Mary is very saddened to hear this tragic news…Our hearts go out to the entire Deeds family.”
The following statement was given to NewsChannel 3 from Dennis A. Cropper, Ph.D., the Executive Director of Rockbridge Area Community Services:
“As you may be aware, there have been many inquiries about the incident involving the family of Creigh Deeds. While we understand the nature of the questions, we also respect the family’s privacy. First of all, we want to express our sadness and deepest sympathy for the Deeds family. While I cannot confirm whether or not anyone was issued an Emergency Custody Order (ECO), what information we can provide at this time is the typical procedure involved in an ECO. Once a person is taken into custody under an ECO they can be held for up to 4 hours while an evaluation from a Mental Health professional is conducted. Within those four hours, if a mental health professional determines that they need a psychiatric bed space, they have to use those same 4 hours to locate a receiving facility. In certain conditions a 2 hour extension is granted by a magistrate, but under no circumstances can a person be held beyond 6 hours involuntarily under an ECO. We ask that the community respect the family’s privacy while they grieve the loss of their son and brother.”