UPDATED: Standoff with Christiansburg town manager ends in self-inflicted gunshot wound

By  | 

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) A nearly four-hour standoff between authorities and the Christiansburg town manager ended with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The call came in around 12:07 a.m. Tuesday for a possible suicidal person at 10 Montague Street in Christiansburg.

Christiansburg police and Montgomery County deputies made multiple attempts to contact the man inside the apartment. Authorities evacuated nearby apartments while this was going on.

At 3:54 a.m., there was a gunshot. Law enforcement officers went inside and found that the man had shot himself in the head.

The person is now identified as 53-year-old Christiansburg Town Manager Steve Biggs, who began his position with the town on July 1, 2016. He was formerly the town manager of Clayton, North Carolina.

Biggs was taken to LewisGale Hospital and then flown to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with possibly life-threatening injuries.

State police are investigating the incident.

Last month, Biggs' neighbor asked for a protective order. In a court filing, the woman said Biggs had repeatedly texted that he loved her even after she told him to stop. One text read "the more jealous you are of a person the less you care about their suffering," according to the woman. In a subsequent filing, Biggs wrote that the statements were untrue and that she was trying to discredit him professionally and hurt his standing in the community. A judge denied the woman's motion to extend the protective order.

Public Relations Director Melissa Powell confirmed there was a closed door meeting about Biggs one day after the protective order hearing. There wasn't a vote.

Here is a statement from Christiansburg Mayor Michael Barber

Christiansburg Town Council, staff and I are deeply saddened by this morning’s events and are keeping Steve and his family in our thoughts and prayers. Since he came on board in July, Steve has energized the Town of Christiansburg, inspiring many of the stakeholders in our amazing community to recognize the great potential that already existed prior to his arrival – and still does. He has worked closely with Town staff at every level and in every department, and we’re still reeling from this news. Counselors from Carilion Clinic will be on site at Christiansburg Town Hall this week and available to all staff members.

The regularly scheduled Town Council meeting tonight has been canceled. In its place, Christiansburg Town Council will meet in a closed session. Assistant Town Manager Randy Wingfield is acting as interim town manager.

We appreciate the many kind words we’ve already received today from community members and our friends and neighbors across the region. As you know, the investigation is being handled by Virginia State Police. We appreciate their assistance, as well as the assistance provided this morning by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Christiansburg Rescue Squad.

At this time, we will not be making any additional statements about this incident. Any future media inquiries should be directed to Public Relations Director Melissa Powell at mpowell@christiansburg.org.


D. Michael Barber, Christiansburg Mayor

Here is a statement from Nancy Medlin, deputy town manager for Clayton, North Carolina:

Our hearts are heavy with this morning’s tragic news regarding Steve Biggs, Clayton's former Town Manager. Before Steve moved to Christiansburg, he dedicated nearly 20 years of his life to the Town of Clayton, and his family continues to be a part of our community. This tragedy has hit hard in Town Hall, where countless employees built their careers under Steve’s leadership. Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve’s wife and children this morning, as well as the doctors who have Steve in their care. We are praying for a full recovery.