"They thought the world of each other," Wood said. "That's what's surprising about this whole deal."

Deeds and his ex-wife, Pam, divorced shortly after the 2009 campaign. Deeds remarried last year.

Deeds spent most of his childhood in Bath County, where his family settled in the 1740s. The rural county is known for the luxury Homestead resort, but Deeds grew up on the other side of the mountain.

"I didn't grow up on the end of the county where you learn to ski and play golf as a child," he said. Deeds lived on a farm after his parents divorced when he was about 7.

Deeds, a former Bath County prosecutor, was elected to the House of Delegates in 1991 and to the state Senate in 2001.


Police say early indications are that the son of a state senator in Virginia stabbed his father before shooting himself to death.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corrine Geller said Tuesday afternoon at a news conference that authorities are still investigating the stabbing of Sen. Creigh Deeds, but it appears it was an attempted murder and suicide.

Creigh Deeds was stabbed several times in the head and torso Tuesday morning at his Bath County home. Gus Deeds died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 24. A firearm was recovered at the Millboro-area home.

"At this time we're still piecing together the exact circumstances that led up to the altercation and followed afterwards, but based on the evidence we are looking into this as an attempted murder and suicide," Geller said.

Deeds was stabbed numerous times before he walked down Vineyard Drive and out on to Virginia State Route 42, where he was picked up by a cousin who lives nearby, state police said. Deeds was airlifted to Charlottesville from his cousin's farm. Creigh Deeds has spoken with investigators about the incident.

As of Tuesday night, Deeds was listed in "fair condition" at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Gus Deeds and Creigh Deeds were the only ones home at the time of altercation. Creigh Deeds represents the 25th District. The Democrat ran for governor in 2009.

Geller said the Bath County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call about 7:25 a.m. Gus Deeds was found inside the residence with life-threatening injuries from a gunshot wound, Geller said. Despite the response of emergency personnel, the senator's son died at the scene.

"It's a very complex investigation," Geller said. Geller asked for the public to respect the Deeds’ privacy. “They have a lot to deal with right now,” she said.

Police are not saying who the gun found at the scene belongs to or what kind it is. They also aren't identifying the weapon used to stab Senator Deeds. Gus Deeds’ remains have been taken to Roanoke for an autopsy and examination.

Bath County Sheriff Robert Plecker tells WDBJ7 that his department was called to the Deeds’ home Monday. Plecker did not go into detail about the incident. He did not classify the call as a domestic situation.

Plecker knows the Deeds family and coached Gus Deeds. Plecker says to say that he is shocked about the incident is an understatement.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Gus Deeds had a mental health evaluation Monday in Bath County and was released.

The Richmond Times Dispatch newspaper spoke to the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board, which treats the mentally ill. The executive director told the Times-Dispatch that there weren't any psychiatric beds available across a wide portion of western Virginia, so Gus was able to go home.

The Rockbridge Area Community Services Board released this statement to WDBJ7:

“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.”

Gus Deeds attended William & Mary College off and on since 2007. According to the school Deeds withdrew last month. “Our hearts go out to the entire Deeds family,” a statement from William & Mary read.

"I think everyone was just stunned, no one expected this from Gus,” assistant professor Max Katz said. “In class, he was a favorite kind of student, ready to be challenged by the material.”

Creigh Deeds was born in Richmond in 1958, but he has lived in Bath County for most of his life. His career has included two campaigns for statewide office.

Deeds ran for Attorney General in 2005. That was the race he lost by 360 votes to Republican Bob McDonnell. In 2009 Deeds was the Democratic nominee in the race for governor. He also lost that race to McDonnell.

Deeds' political career began in Bath County. The earliest interview with Creigh Deeds in the WDBJ7 archive dates back to 1987, when he was running for Bath County Commonwealth's Attorney. He won that election.