CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (AP) — The son of a state senator in the U.S. stabbed his father in the head and chest Tuesday before apparently killing himself with a gun, according to initial reports from police.
Authorities were still piecing together a motive and the circumstances that led up to the stabbing of Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds.
"We're leaning towards it being an attempted murder/suicide," Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corrine Geller said.
Deeds' 24-year-old son, Gus, died at the home of a gunshot wound. Geller said Creigh Deeds and his son were the only people at the home, and police were not looking for a suspect.
The senator was in fair condition at a hospital. He had previously been listed in critical.
After the stabbing, Deeds was able to walk away from his rural home to a nearby road and a cousin who was driving by happened to notice the senator, police said.
Inside the senator's home, authorities found Gus Deeds with a gunshot wound. Despite efforts by state troopers and first responders, he died there.
Gus Deeds is one of the senator's four adult children. He was studying music at the College of William and Mary, where he had been enrolled off and on since 2007, but withdrew last month, school spokesman Brian Whitson said. The college said he had a strong academic record. It did not say why he left.
During Deeds' bid for governor, his son took off a semester to join his dad on the campaign trail.
"He needs me and I need him," Deeds told a reporter in the fall of 2009, about campaigning with Gus. "I've got to go through this campaign process but that doesn't mean I've got to be completely separated from my family the whole time."
Deeds and his ex-wife, Pam, divorced shortly after the 2009 campaign. Deeds remarried last year.
Associated Press writer Matthew Barakat contributed to this report from McLean and Michael Felberbaum contributed from Richmond.