Man arrested after hours-long Southeast Roanoke standoff


A man has been taken into custody after an hours-long standoff in Southeast Roanoke on Thursday.

At 9:23 a.m., police said they spotted a wanted subject running inside of a house in the 1600 block of 16th Street SE in Roanoke.

The man, now identified as William Nichols, said he would not come out, according to the Roanoke Police Department. We’re told he was a resident in the home, but is not the homeowner.

Nichols was wanted on several charges in multiple jurisdictions, including failure to appear, possession of meth, and protection order served, authorities said.

RPD advised the public to avoid travel in the area of Brownlee Avenue, Carlisle Avenue, Gordon Avenue, and 16th Street as officers worked to take Nichols into custody.

Six hours later at 3:15 p.m., police got Nichols to come out of the home and surrender. 10 News crews saw him approaching the front door before he was tackled and taken into custody.

Luckily, police said no one was hurt during the incident.

Authorities said the tactical response team, SWAT, responded to the scene, along with crisis negotiators, US Marshals, and fire crews.

We’re told chemical agents were used during the standoff, and authorities also used the tactical car to begin breaking down the fence of the home before Nichols eventually surrendered.

School buses in the area weren’t running their evening routes due to the police presence, and students needed to be picked up from their schools, according to Roanoke City school officials. The roads have since reopened to traffic.

Neighbors of the area told 10 News that they weren’t surprised to see this happen at this home.

“He’s really a nuisance to our neighborhood. It’s been ongoing, it’s a safety hazard for children,” one neighbor said.

Watch an earlier update of this story below.


Roanoke police are at the scene of the 1600 block of 16th Street SE in Roanoke, due to a standoff with a man wanted on several felony warrants.

Police said after confronting the man, he ran off on foot and inside a home in the area.

We’re told the man refused to come out, and police have been working to negotiate with him.

Tactical response is also on the scene to assist, according to authorities.

Police said they have no plans to enter the residence yet.

We’re told there is no danger to the public at this time.

RPD is advising the public to avoid travel in the area of Brownlee Avenue, Carlisle Avenue, Gordon Avenue, and 16th Street as officers work to take the suspect into custody.

As a result of the traffic restrictions, elementary, middle, and high school buses will not be able to drop off students whose bus stop is within this area, Roanoke City Schools said.

Students who are not able to get off the bus will be taken back to their school to be picked up, officials said. We’re told families can call ahead of dismissal to pick up their student from school.

School officials said this may also cause delays for secondary bus routes throughout the city.

10 News is working for you to learn more.

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About the Authors:

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.