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Creigh Deeds describes attack, problems with mental health system on ’60 Minutes’

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Posted at 11:24 PM, Jan 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-27 18:40:17-05

Two months after being attacked by his son, who then took his own life, Virginia state Senator Creigh Deeds is speaking out about what happened.

In his first television interview since then, Deeds spoke about problems with the state's mental health system and shared more about what happened that day in November.  The interview aired Sunday night on '60 Minutes.'

The scars left from the attack or clear to see, both physically and emotionally.

Deed's son, 24-year-old Gus Deeds, stabbed him outside their home in Bath County.

"He got me twice, stabbed me twice," Deeds told CBS's Scott Pelley.  "I turned around and I said, 'bud what's going on?' I said, and he just kept coming at me, and I said, 'Gus I love you so much,' I said 'don't make this any worse than it is,' and he just kept coming at me."

After the attack, Gus took his own life.  Deeds found out about his son's death as he was being rushed to the hospital.

Creigh Deeds sponsors bills to improve state’s mental health system

"Some call came over the scanner that there'd been somebody with a gunshot wound to the head," Deeds said, choking up. The gunshot victim was Gus.

The day that would change his life forever started with a trip to the emergency room the night before.

According to Deeds, his son who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2011, wasn't taking his medication.

As an adult, a court order was required since Gus didn't want the treatment, but it expired in just six hours.

It wasn't enough time to find him a hospital with a psychiatric bed, and he was released.

"I said the system failed my son tonight," Deeds recalled.

His son wrote a chilling journal entry that night at home.  Deeds found it later.

"He had determined that I had to die.  That I was an evil man.  That he was going to execute me and go straight to heaven," said Deeds.

The attack happened the next day.

His dad says, it's not who he was.  At one time, he was a student at the College of William and Mary, on the Dean's List.

"I want people to remember the brilliant, friendly, loving kid that was Gus Deeds," he said.

Deeds says the system failed his son, so he's taking steps to change it,  He's introduced new legislation in the General Assembly.

"We'll use Gus, I hope, to address mental health and make sure that other people don't have to suffer through this," said Deeds.

Among the legislation he introduced, bills that would extend emergency custody orders from 6 hours to 24 and create a statewide database listing available psychiatric beds.