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Virginia state Senator Deeds: 'Some wounds won't heal'

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds speaks at a rally at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, October 27, 2009. REUTERS/J
Virginia gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds speaks at a rally at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, October 27, 2009. REUTERS/J

By Gary Robertson

RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - A prominent Virginia state politician who was stabbed in what police describe as an attempted murder by his son thanked supporters after his release from a hospital on Friday, but said some wounds would never heal.

"I am alive so must live," state Senator Creigh Deeds wrote on his official Twitter page, three days after he was critically wounded and his son died of a self-inflicted gunshot. "Some wounds won't heal. Your prayers and your friendship are important to me."

Deeds, a Democrat who ran for governor in 2009, was attacked on Tuesday at his home in western Virginia. He was taken by helicopter to University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville in critical condition with stab wounds to his head and upper body.

His son, Austin C. "Gus" Deeds, was found by police wounded inside the senator's house and later died. An autopsy found that Gus Deeds died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and police are investigating the incident as an attempted murder-suicide.

Questions have been raised about the psychiatric state of Gus Deeds, 24, who unexpectedly dropped out of college last month. Virginia's inspector general is investigating Gus Deeds' release from psychiatric care a day before the attack.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has ordered his Secretary of Health and Human Resources to conduct a full internal review of the events leading up to the incident. McDonnell, a Republican, defeated Deeds in the 2009 election for governor.

Virginia state police have said Deeds staggered to a nearby highway after he was attacked, and was picked up by a cousin. An emergency call was made from the cousin's residence.

The state senator lives in Millboro, about 100 miles west of Richmond.

(Editing by David Bailey, Andrew Hay, Gary Hill)

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