Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D), who suffered multiple stab wounds last week when his adult son attacked him before committing suicide, on Monday placed the blame for the tragedy on a local community services board.
Deeds said in an interview with a Bath County newspaper that a local mental health services agency, the Rockbridge Area Community Services board, was “responsible” for his son Gus’ death, according to the Washington Post.
Deeds’ son underwent a mental health evaluation the day before the altercation, but was released because officials said there were no available psychiatric beds in the area. Three local hospitals later said they had available beds but were not contacted about accepting a patient.
“Bath and Highland [counties] are the end of the line,” Deeds told the Recorder newspaper, as quoted by the Post. “It seems inconvenient for those people to provide services here. I have heard from people in Rockbridge about lack of services, too, so I think there may be a bigger problem here. I am alive for a reason, and I will work for change. I owe that to my precious son.”
In that interview, Deeds said it was too soon to speak about the incident in detail, according to the Post.
“I cry a lot. I can’t focus now and talk to anyone,” he told the Recorder, as quoted by the Post. “I have very strong opinions about the CSB, and feel like they are responsible. My life’s work now is to make sure other families don’t have to go through what we are living.”
This post has been updated.