Authorities said Austin “Gus” Deeds stabbed his father at his Millboro home shortly before 7:30 a.m. They said the younger Deeds fatally shot himself after the attack.
Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for the Virginia State Police, told reporters during a Charlottesville press conference that Deeds has been able to speak with authorities.
“The investigation obviously remains ongoing,” Geller said.
Deeds, who has represented the 25th Senate District in Richmond since 2001, was the Democratic candidate for governor in 2009. Outgoing Gov. Bob McDonnell defeated him by a 59-41 percent margin.
The Bath County Democrat in January voted for a bill that would have banned discrimination against LGBT state employees. Deeds the same month supported gay Richmond Circuit Court Judge Tracy Thorne-Begland’s judgeship the state Senate approved.
He backed a measure during the 2013 Legislative session that would have strengthened anti-bullying measures in the commonwealth. Deeds also opposed a bill that McDonnell signed into law in March that banned Virginia’s public colleges and universities from discriminating against any student group based on their religious and political beliefs.
Deeds received a 100 percent score on Equality Virginia’s 2012 legislative scorecard.
“In this tough and sad time, our thoughts and prayers are with the Deeds family,” McDonnell said in a statement. “The news from this morning is utterly heartbreaking.”
Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe, who lost to Deeds in the 2009 Democratic gubernatorial primary, said both he and his wife “are praying for the Deeds family at this difficult time.”
State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) told the Washington Blade he is “shocked” by the incident.
“Creigh is one of the nicest, most pleasant people in Richmond,” Ebbin said. “It’s just unimaginable that this has happened to him. It’s just like a bad dream. I can’t believe it.”
The Blade will have more information and reaction as it becomes available.