Governor Bob McDonnell has ordered an investigation of events that preceded Tuesday's tragedy in Bath County.
McDonnell wants to know more about what happened on Monday when Senator Creigh Deeds' son was released from psychiatric care. The next day, police say Gus Deeds stabbed his father and then killed himself.
We spoke with Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel in a telephone interview Thursday morning.
Hazel said the Governor wants to understand what actually happened, what if anything might have gone wrong in this situation, and what changes in policy, procedure or budget could improve Virginia's mental health system.
"This is a tragic event and we need to take our time and understand what happened here, and not jump to conclusions," Hazel said. "We need to understand if policy and procedures in place were followed and how well they were followed. "
Hazel said the state must "look at the big picture," and determine if the availability of beds is the critical issue, or if other factors such as the supply of psychiatrists and mental health workers are more important.
Hazel said the review could bring recommendations when lawmakers return to Richmond in January, but he also warned there is no quick fix for a complicated problem. And Hazel said a review of the state's mental health system should continue with the next administration.