November 20, 2013
One day after the stabbing of state Sen. Creigh Deeds, the community from Bath County to Charlottesville is still coping with shock.
"Everybody's still in shock," said Bath County resident Monica Liptrap. "I mean, we're a small town. We all kind of knit together and prayer is a big thing for us. We all started prayer chains and things with the local churches right away. We're still doing that for the family."
Police reported Wednesday night they've recovered a weapon they believe was used in Deeds' stabbing. They also say the fatal gunshot wound to Deeds' 24-year-old son Gus was self-inflicted with a rifle.
"He's a well-known face and presence and this is a sad time for him," Charlottesville Democrats co-chair Linda Seaman said of the senator.
Deeds remains at the hospital Wednesday night, but his condition has improved from fair to good. Local Democrats say they're happy to hear Deeds is improving at the University of Virginia Medical Center, but they recognize the tragedy the Deeds family faces.
"Not unlike all people, we were tragically shocked and saddened," Seaman said.
In Charlottesville, many people at his constituents' office signed a card offering well wishes and hoping to see the senator around town once again.
"Creigh has tremendous positive energy as he attends events and meets-and-greets with residents of the Charlottesville area," Seaman said.
Police said they continue to analyze evidence in the case as the family and community continue to cope with tragedy.
"This is one family's tragedy, but I do believe there are many other families that suffer from the same kinds of unhappy experiences," Seaman said.
Police also confirmed Wednesday that authorities with the Bath County Sheriff's Office responded to Deeds' home on the night before the stabbing for what they say was a "non-emergency call."
The Virginia State Police Department has released the following update to their investigation of Senator Creigh Deeds and his son, Austin "Gus".
"RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia State Police and Bath County Sheriff’s Office continue to evaluate the evidence collected in the wake of Tuesday’s tragic incident at the Bath County residence of State Senator Creigh Deeds.
"At 7:25 a.m. Tuesday (Nov. 19, 2013), Virginia State Police troopers and Bath County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call at a residence at 26 Vineyard Drive in Millboro, Va.
"During the course of the ongoing criminal investigation, state police has determined that Senator Deeds, 55, and his son, Austin C. “Gus” Deeds, 24, had an altercation outside of their residence on the Deeds’ property. Deeds was stabbed multiple times about the head and torso. Deeds then left the scene on foot. As he was coming down the hill of his residence towards Route 42, the injured senator was spotted and picked up by a cousin who was driving along Route 42.
"The two drove to the cousin’s residence where rescue responded. Senator Deeds was flown to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Va., for treatment of serious injuries. The senator is still at the hospital at this time and, as of Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 20), listed in good condition.
"Gus Deeds was found inside the residence suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound. Despite efforts by troopers and other first responders, he died at the scene. An autopsy and examination by the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke, Va., confirmed the gunshot wound was self-inflicted and fired from a rifle.
"A weapon believed to have been used in the stabbing of Senator Deeds was recovered at the scene yesterday. The type of weapon will not be released until the Virginia Department of Forensic Evidence makes confirmation of whether or not it was used in the attack.
The investigation remains ongoing at this time by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Salem Field Office with the assistance of the Bath County Sheriff’s Office.
"In response to inquiries about whether the Bath County Sheriff’s Office had responded previously to the Deeds’ residence: The Sheriff’s Office did respond to 26 Vineyard Drive on Monday (Nov. 18) to a non-emergency call for assistance. No arrest was made or any charges placed. Prior to Monday, the Sheriff’s Office has no record of any 911 or non-emergency calls to that residence."