Steve Biggs, the former Clayton town manager for 19 years, died Wednesday morning in a Virginia hospital.
Biggs left the Town of Clayton last June to accept a job as city manager in Christiansburg, Virginia. Around 12:07am Tuesday, Christiansburg Police responded to an apartment complex where Biggs of a suicidal person. Attempts to get an answer at the apartment was unsuccessful. At 3:54am a gunshot was heard from inside. Police made entry and found Biggs suffering from an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
He was rushed to a LewisGale Hospital then airlifted to a trauma center at Carilion Roanoke Memorial, however he died as a result of his injuries.
Christiansburg Assistant Town Manager Randy Wingfield, who is now the interim town manager, released a statement to town employees earlier today saying:
I was proud to have worked for Steve, and I learned much from him in terms of leadership, team building and public outreach. He has laid a solid foundation for the Town to use and built momentum that we can rightfully continue in his honor. I want to thank staff for all of the support you have shown. I also want you to know that Town Council fully supports staff going forward. We will get through this difficult time and have a better tomorrow in part because of the focus and direction of Steve.
Christiansburg, Virginia Mayor Mike Barber issued the following statement:
Town Council and I are heartbroken this morning to learn of Steve’s passing. We met last night in a closed session to begin the healing process together and discuss the direction of the Town moving forward. We are confident in the leadership of Randy Wingfield, who is now serving as interim town manager, and of the leadership of all of our department heads. Steve leaves behind a progressive and proactive legacy, and we will work hard to honor and build upon all that he started. Town Council and I are keeping Steve’s family and friends in our thoughts and prayers.
The shooting came just over a month after a 23 year-old female neighbor filed a complaint Biggs was “obsessive” towards her and began sending harassing and offensive text messages.
A judge initially issued a 72 hour protective order against Biggs in early-March but rejected a 15-day restraining order following a court hearing. State police also investigated the allegations against Biggs but prosecutors declined to pursue charges or charge the 53 year-old with stalking.
Biggs is married and has 3 children who live in Clayton. His family remained in Clayton this year so his youngest child could complete school in Johnston County before moving to Virginia.
As recently as last week, Biggs told a reporter with The Roanoke Times he did not harass the 23 year-old woman who was seeking to “discredit and undermine” his standing in the community.