William & Mary staff shocked by alleged attack by Gus Deeds

Posted at 11:49 PM, Nov 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-20 08:20:12-05

If Gus Deeds was approaching a mental health crises, it wasn`t apparent to people who knew him at William & Mary.

"If we had been having this conversation two days ago, I would have said that Gus Deeds would have been, like his mind-set would be a good thing for us to think about. He wasn't concerned what other people thought of him. He was nice to everyone he met,” says Christian Sassano.

According to the college, Deeds had been a William and Mary student off and on since 2007, but withdrew in October. The reason is unclear, but certainly not the action of the affable, dedicated student described by his professors

"He was very forthcoming and very personable. He told me about his faith. He was very religious," says professor Max Katz.

He was also a regular in the music library.

But something happened. Police say Gus Deeds had moved back to his father`s home in Bath County. The Richmond Times Dispatch reported this afternoon that Gus Deeds was taken in for a mental evaluation Monday, but was released because there was no bed available for him. The county mental health director contacted by NewsChannel 3 refused to confirm that report, but did say even if Deeds had been brought in under a so-called emergency custody order, he could not have been held more than six hours anyway.

The news of what happened down the dirt road in Bath County traveled quickly across the Williamsburg campus Tuesday morning.

State Police say they don't know what led Gus Deeds to apparently attack his father this morning. But they said Senator Deeds wandered from his home, bleeding after the attack and was picked up by a cousin who got him the medical care that may have saved his life.


UPDATE: Sen. Deeds in fair condition; police suspect attempted murder-suicide