TODAY   |  November 20, 2013

Virginia senator allegedly stabbed by son

Creigh Deeds, a Virginia state senator, is in critical condition after allegedly being stabbed multiple times by his 24-year-old son, who then took his own life. NBC’s Kristen Welker reports.

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>> man is recovering in the hospital after being viciously stabbed allegedly by his own son. kristen welker is in charlottesville with details. good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning. this local newspaper says it all. state senator creigh deeds is recovering here at the university of virginia medical center . he is listed in fair condition this morning. this as investigators try to figure out how this could have happened. he is a fix tour in politics and state senator since 2001 . he made a high profile but unsuccessful bid for governor four years ago but now he's at the center of a family tragedy. tuesday morning he was stabbed multiple peoples apparently by his son son, 24-year-old austin gus deeds who then fatally shot himself.

>> we're looking into this as an attempted murder and suicide.

>> reporter: it all started here at his home when an altercation between father and son turned violent. the state senator was stabbed in the head and chest.

>> deeds was able to leave the scene on foot. he encountered a cousin that lives nearby. he stopped and picked up senator deeds.

>> reporter: he was air lifted to the hospital while authorities tried to save his son. the political world expressed disbelief.

>> i love the guy and i'm pulling for him.

>> reporter: gus was seen side by side with his father on the campaign trail. a college student that helped appeal to young voters. on tuesday, the richmond times dispatch quoted a county official as saying the son was evaluated monday at bath community hospital but was released because no psychiatric bed could be located across virginia. he declined to confirm the report but deed's colleagues say they too are grieving.

>> even if he recovers you're still facing the loss of a son. that's the toughest part.

>> reporter: now governor bob mcdonald that beat him back in the 2009 race called this utterly heartbreaking. everyone in the house from the president on down sending their thoughts and prayers to the family this morning. meanwhile, investigators trying to figure out what could have sparked the fight between father and son in the first place. matt and savannah, back to you.

>> all right kristen welker. thank you very much.