CHARLOTTESVILLE - Virginia state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, who ran unsuccessfully for governor four years ago, was stabbed Tuesday in his head and chest at his home, and his son died at the residence from a gunshot wound, police said.
Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller wouldn't say who stabbed Deeds or how his son was shot, but she did say authorities were not looking for any suspects. The Democratic senator, who has also run for attorney general, was in critical condition at a hospital.
Authorities received a 911 call Tuesday morning and responded to the senator's home in in rural Bath County, which is in western Virginia on the border with West Virginia, police said. They found the 55-year-old senator there with multiple stab wounds. Deeds' 24-year-old son, Gus, was also found there at the home, suffering from a gunshot wound.
Geller said they were still trying to figure out motive and the sequence of events.
"It's a very complex investigation," Geller said. She said police have been able to talk with the senator, but she wouldn't reveal what he said. She also did not say who made the 911 call.
Deeds has been in the state Senate since 2001. He also ran for attorney general and governor, losing both times to current Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Deeds, a former Bath County prosecutor, was elected to the House of Delegates in 1991 and to the state Senate in 2001, in a special election after the death of Emily Couric. He ran for attorney general in 2005, but lost to McDonnell, a Republican. The margin of victory was fewer than 400 votes out of nearly 2 million cast.
Deeds and McDonnell squared off again in 2009 in the race for governor after Deeds defeated Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran in the Democratic Party. But Deeds lost badly that time. McAuliffe was elected governor earlier this month.
McDonnell said in a statement the news was "utterly heartbreaking."
"Creigh Deeds is an exceptional and committed public servant who has always done what he believes is best for Virginia and who gives his all to public service," McDonnell said in the statement.
Gov.-elect McAuliffe called it a sad day for Virginia and the many people who know Creigh.
"We join people across the Commonwealth and country in wishing him a full recovery," he said.
Deeds, who drafted a constitutional amendment guaranteeing Virginians' right to hunt, long enjoyed support from the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocates.
Deeds and his wife, Pam, divorced shortly after the 2009 campaign. Deeds remarried last year.