Virginia political community rallies around Deeds family - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Virginia political community rallies around Deeds family

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) -

Senator Creigh Deeds remains hospitalized in fair condition, as UVA College Democrats and Republicans have made plans to honor the prominent legislator with a vigil on campus Thursday.

Meanwhile, political leaders and average citizens are reacting with compassion and concern in the wake of this unlikely tragedy.

"Our team is shocked and we're praying for he and his family, but particularly him, for his recovery," said Governor Bob McDonnell, who twice beat Deeds in statewide runs for political office.

Gov. McDonnell is among many who couldn't believe the news that Deeds was likely attacked and stabbed repeatedly by his beloved 24-year-old son Gus, then forced out onto the street bloodied, while Gus then apparently took his life.

It's an unpredictable circumstance that has predictability sent the Deeds family into hiding.

"They do not want to be contacted by the media," said State Police spokesperson Corrine Geller. "They have a lot to deal with right now."

But, while the Deeds family has clung to one another, their wider political family and Western Virginia community has opened its arms of support.

College Democrats and Republicans at the University of Virginia, which Deeds represents, announced plans to hold a vigil in his honor on Thursday.

On Twitter, his supporters recalled a special social media tradition of the Senator's, tweeting the name of the song he happened to be listening to. All night long followers of Deeds tweeted their favorite songs under #CreighTunes.

Others changed their profile pictures to his old campaign logo.

Meanwhile, the investigation continues with many questions about his son's situation and the state of mental health care in Virginia in general.  In fact, there are calls for the Commonwealth to make mental health treatment a priority in the wake of this tragedy.

The Campaign for Children's Mental Health asked to give the Deeds time to process their loss. But said lawmakers should have a "conversation around this critical issue".

The vigil hosted by the College Democrats and Republicans will take place at 7 p.m., at the UVA Amphitheater on campus.

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