Dennis Crooper, the executive director of the Rockbridge County Community Services Board, told the newspaper that 24-year-old Austin "Gus" Deeds was evaluated under an emergency custody order the day before he died.
Police responded to Deeds' Millboro, Va., home around 7:25 a.m. Tuesday morning and found State Senator Creigh Deeds, 55, with stab wounds and his son with a gunshot wound. Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller said police were unable to save Gus, who died at the scene. Deeds was airlifted to the University of Virginia Medical Center.
Geller told reporters Tuesday that the incident was being investigated as a possible attempted murder-suicide and no other suspects were being sought.
Crooper released a statement late Tuesday which did not confirm what he told the Times-Dispatch about a lack available beds, but described the process for holding someone under an emergency custody order (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."
Creigh Deeds was formerly a Bath County prosecutor and was elected to the state Senate in 2001, according to the Associated Press. He also ran unsuccessfully for attorney general in 2005 and for governor in 2009.
Gus Deeds enrolled at the College of William & Mary in 2007 and attended the school on and off, but had withdrawn a month before his death, according to a statement released by the college.