Police are investigating after the son of a senior US politician reportedly stabbed his father and then shot himself.
Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corrine Geller said it appears it was an attempted murder and suicide.
The condition of Creigh Deeds, a Democratic senator who ran unsuccessfully for governor four years ago, was said to be fair.
Earlier reports had put him as critical.
“Based on the evidence we have right now we are looking into this as an attempted murder and suicide,” said Geller.
“That is not an absolute determination.”
The senator’s 24-year-old son, Gus, died at the home of a gunshot wound. Geller says Deeds and his son were the only people at the house at the time.
Authorities received an emergency call and responded to the house in rural Bath County in western Virginia, police said. They found the 55-year-old politician with multiple stab wounds. His son was also found at the home, suffering from a gunshot wound.
Geller said police had talked with the senator, but declined to reveal what he said. She also did not say who made the emergency call.
Virginia governor Bob McDonnell said in a statement that 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,” the statement read.
Gus Deeds is one of the senator’s four adult children. He had been enrolled at the College of William and Mary off and on since 2007, and withdrew last month, school spokesman Brian Whitson said. The college did not say why he left.
During Deeds’s bid for governor, his son took off a semester to join his dad on the campaign trail.
“He needs me and I need him,” Deeds told a reporter in the fall of 2009, about campaigning with Gus.
“I’ve got to go through this campaign process, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got to be completely separated from my family the whole time,” he said.
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