One Year Later: Creigh Deeds and the Tragedy That Could Transform Virginia's Mental Health Care
It's been a year since Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds lost his only son following a devastating attack that not only changed the state senator's physical appearance, but also his mission in life.
Deeds was working outside his Bath County home Nov. 19, 2013 when his son, Austin "Gus" Deeds, stabbed him multiple times in the head and upper body before turning a gun on himself.
Gus Deeds, 24, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Creigh Deeds was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition. Just three days later, he was released, and tweeted to his supporters, "I am alive so must live. Some wounds won't heal...."
Deeds had tried for more than two and a half years to get help for his son, taking steps to have him involuntarily committed twice in 2011. That year, Gus was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Deeds continued to try to get Gus the help he needed. But just before the 2013 attack, Deeds learned that his son had been missing appointments with local mental health professionals and was writing disturbing things.
For the third time, Deeds had an emergency custody order issued for Gus. Such orders are issued after a person is deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.
But when the order expired before a treatment bed could be found, the two went home.
The next morning, Gus attacked his father.
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