Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound Puts Local Town Manager in Hospital; Christiansburg Mayor Issues Statement

posted by Caroline J. Cook - 

Melissa Powell, spokesperson for the Town of Christiansburg says that Christiansburg Town Manager Steve Biggs is in the hospital following a standoff with police and a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  He is at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Biggs, 53, began his position with the Town on July 1, 2016.

At approximately 12:07 a.m., a call was made to the New River Valley Regional 911 Center in reference to a possible suicidal subject at 10 Montague Street in Christiansburg.

Upon arrival, Christiansburg Police officers and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputies made multiple attempts to contact the individual inside the apartment. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office secured the scene and evacuated the residents of the adjoining apartment units.

At approximately 3:54 a.m., officers and deputies heard one gunshot from inside the residence. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office emergency response team entered the residence and located an individual with one self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The individual was identified as Biggs.  He was transported by ambulance to LewisGale Hospital Montgomery and then flown to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with possible life-threatening injuries. The Christiansburg Rescue Squad was on standby and personnel were able to apply first aid measures soon after entry was made into the apartment.

Christiansburg Mayor, D. Michael Barber, released this statement: 

"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."

The Virginia State Police will be handling the investigation into the incident.

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