Former Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds was stabbed earlier this morning by his son, Austin "Gus" Deeds. The younger Deeds then fatally shot himself at the family home. Senator Deeds is still in the intensive care unit at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
"The news from this morning is utterly heartbreaking," Governor Bob McDonnell said in a public statement. "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. In this tough and sad time, our thoughts and prayers are with the Deeds family."
The incident occurred around 7:00 a.m. this morning, and police quickly responded to the home, where they found Senator Deeds in critical condition and a second person dead at the scene. Only later did they release the news that it was Senator Deeds' son who had died.
Senator Deeds has been married twice, the first time to Pam for 20 years, but they divorced in 2010; he later married Siobhan Gilbride Lomax and they remain married. He is the father of three surviving children; Amanda, Rebecca and Susannah. Son Gus was only 24 at the time of his death.
Senator Deeds helped pass the groundbreaking legislation necessary for Megan's Law in Virginia, which requires that all sexual offenders who committed crimes against children to notify law enforcement when they move or change jobs. It helps protect young children from unknown predators and was enacted in response to the rape and murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka.
Many of Senator Deeds' colleagues in Congress have taken time to offer their prayers and well-wishes for their friend.
"Praying for Creigh Deeds and his family," Eric Cantor tweeted.
"Stunning news from Bath County. I am praying for @CreighDeeds and his family at this very, very difficult time," added Mark Warner.