CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A Virginia state senator and onetime gubernatorial candidate stabbed by his son said Friday that he is "alive so must live," his first public statement since the assault and his son's suicide shortly thereafter.
Just hours after being released from a hospital, Sen. Creigh Deeds said in a tweet: "I am alive so must live. Some wounds won't heal. Your prayers and your friendship are important to me."
University of Virginia Medical Center spokesman Eric Swensen said Deeds, 55, was released Friday morning. Deeds was airlifted from his Bath County home Tuesday after police say his son stabbed him multiple times and then shot himself with a rifle.
Swensen declined any additional comment on Deeds' release.
State police investigators are still trying to understand what prompted the violent encounter between Deeds and his 24-year-old son, Gus. The two apparently had a close relationship. State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said she had nothing new to report Friday.
According to media outlets, an emergency custody order was issued Monday for Gus Deeds, but he was released because mental health workers could not find him a psychiatric bed. Several hospitals have said they could have accommodated Deeds.
The conflicting reports have prompted two state investigations. G. Douglas Bevelacqua, the director of the inspector general program for behavioral health in Virginia, said his office is investigating. Gov. Bob McDonnell also has directed Secretary of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Hazel to "conduct a full internal review of the events leading up to Tuesday's tragic situation," McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said.
"The secretary has already begun his assessment, working in cooperation with all relevant state and local authorities," Martin said.
Deeds, a Democrat, served 10 years in the House of Delegates before joining the Senate in 2001. He ran for attorney general in 2005 and for governor in 2009, losing both times to McDonnell.