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Man at center of Roanoke standoff arrested on domestic assault charges

51-year-old was arrested Monday morning after a 20+-hour standoff

ROANOKE, Va. – Authorities arrested a 51-year-old man after a standoff that lasted nearly a day in Roanoke.

Shortly after noon on Sunday, Roanoke County Police responded to a domestic assault call in the 5200 block of Orchard Hill Drive, which is in the Bonsack area of the county.

Officers arrived and found a 53-year-old woman at the scene who was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Roanoke County police later put out a lookout for 51-year-old John Andrew Burch and obtained felony warrants against him for aggravated malicious wounding and abduction.

Roanoke City Police located Burch at a residence in the 2500 block of Edinburgh Drive NW; however, when they attempted to arrest him, he barricaded himself inside the residence with a firearm.

A standoff ensued and the Roanoke City Police Tactical Response Team was called in.

A few hours after the standoff began, officers evacuated Burch’s next door neighbors for safety.

Celia Calloway and her daughter, Gia were two of those neighbors.

“I was scared,” Celia said. “A bunch of guys standing at your door with guns, shields, uniforms on telling you you’ve got to go and you’ve got to go now. I hardly had time to get anything out of the house. Leaving behind one dog and four puppies three weeks old was stressful.”

As the standoff extended late into the evening, Roanoke County SWAT and City of Salem Emergency Response Team relieved Roanoke City.

Robert Baker also lives on Edinburgh Dr. NW but was not evacuated.

Seeing all the law enforcement activity made him curious, but he wasn’t scared.

“I was wondering what was going on with all these cops around here,” Baker said. “I walked to the top of the hill and looked over the hill to see what was going on. I could tell at the second house on the end a cop was walking up to the sidewalk, but I had no idea what was going on.”

At 6:30 a.m. Monday, the Roanoke City Tactical Response Team resumed command.

At approximately 10:30 a.m. the suspect surrendered and was taken into custody without incident.

Some residents on Edinburgh Dr. NW said they feel the police should’ve ended the standoff much sooner.

A spokesperson for the Roanoke Police Department and a spokesperson for Roanoke County said the decision to allow the standoff to go on as long as it did was a tactical decision.

When Celia and her daughter were finally allowed to go back home Monday afternoon, about 24 hours after they had to evacuate, she said she was shocked to learn what Burch was accused of.

“He’s been a good guy to me. Anything I needed, he’s been very helpful with,” she said.

Roanoke County Police continues to investigate the incident. Additional charges are pending further investigation.

Roanoke County Police is appreciative of the Roanoke City and City of Salem Police Departments for bringing this incident to an end.


After more than 20 hours, a standoff is over in Roanoke.

According to police, it all began because of an incident in Roanoke County.

The man was taken into custody at about 10:30 a.m. and the standoff began at about 2 p.m. Sunday.

We’re working to learn more about what happened in Roanoke County that led to the standoff.


Police are in a more than 18-hour standoff with a suspect barricaded inside a home in northwest Roanoke.

The home is on Edinburgh Dr. near the intersection with Grandview Ave.

A Roanoke Police Department spokesperson told 10 News officers are attempting to serve felony warrants on the suspect.

Officers believe the man is armed.


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