Christiansburg neighbors shocked by neighbor's death, husband's arrest

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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) - A man is in jail after deputies say his wife was shot multiple times at a home in Christiansburg. Montgomery County's Sheriff's Office is investigating it as the county's first homicide of 2020.

Mugshot courtesy Montgomery County Sheriff's Office

Just before 9 p.m. Tuesday, deputies were called to a home along Red Hawk Run in Christiansburg's quiet Smith Creek neighborhood.

That 9-1-1 call came from a man at 1424 Red Hawk Run, who told deputies exactly why he was calling.

"The male subject is screaming uncontrollably," a dispatcher can be heard saying over the police scanner Tuesday night. "He's not on the line. He did advise he did shoot his wife."

Deputies arrived to the home to find Michelle Tompkins, 51, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. According to a deputy heard over the scanner, he found a female in a car as soon as he arrived to the home.

Tompkins later died at the hospital.

Deputies arrested her husband, Gerard Tompkins, 58, and charged him with second degree murder.

"Definitely shocked," said Sophia Davis, 20.

Davis said Wednesday she's lived in this neighborhood for five years.
She described her neighborhood, with its spaced out homes and rolling green hills, as quiet and mostly filled with older families.

The only thing seemingly awry is a missing cat poster attached to the stop sign at the entrance to the neighborhood.

"I watch a lot of ID and murder mysteries on Netflix and stuff like that but for it to happen not even a half mile down the road," she said. "It's pretty scary."

According to court records, Montgomery County has no record of the Tompkins in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations court. Nothing now, apart from Tompkins' arrest warrant, which stated he's had no criminal convictions.

He's being held without bail, while investigators continue to work out the details of what happened before that 9-1-1 call.

Meanwhile, Davis and other neighbors are reconciling the man they thought they knew, with the man now behind bars.

"You know I've seen this guy I waved at him, like, it's just crazy to have happened so close."

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