FBI honors WSB-TV employee for help in bank hostage situation

by: Steve Gehlbach Updated:

ATLANTA - It was a special honor for one of our very own.

Three months ago, WSB-TV assignment editor Stephanie Steiger spent nearly an hour on the phone with a man who took two people hostage in a Cobb County bank.

She calmly spoke to the suspect and gently transitioned to police negotiators.

The hostage-taker was killed in a final confrontation but police were able to get everybody else out safely.  


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For staying so calm and professional during that phone call, the FBI honored Steiger.

“It’s thanks to that grace under fire, that calm, that collaboration, it had a happy ending for the hostages in that situation,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Wray explained that listening to the man was key in resolving the standoff. 

“Incredibly grateful and impressed by your poise in the situation and appreciation of your partnership with law enforcement for exceptional service in the public interest,” Wray said. “Not that we can help everyone, but at least listen to them and try to get to the problem and officials who can deal with get them help.”

Steiger said she was just trying to do her job.

“I just felt I was trying to my job that day as we try to do our jobs in this business and it was a surprise to be honored this way,” Steiger said. “It was a privilege to be a part of the WSB team that day working alongside law enforcement officer trying to resolve that situation.”

Wray and hundreds of other agents and law enforcement from all over the state were also there to open up the new field office in Atlanta.

The state-of-the-art facility covers the entire state. And it’s first time the FBI has everything under one roof, in its own stand-alone and very secure facility.

Wray said ultimately the new office will help the agency work more effectively because in today’s world from international terrorism, to gang activity and the opioid crisis, to domestic terrorists, sharing information is key.