PITTSBURGH —A man who has taken a hostage inside a downtown Pittsburgh high-rise is posting Facebook updates as police try to negotiate the release of the man he's holding.
Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper identified the suspect as 22-year-old Klein Michael Thaxton. On his Facebook page, Thaxton says he's tired of the life he's lived and has “lost everything.”
Harper said Thaxton entered the 16th floor office of a benefits administration firm around 8 a.m. Friday asking for the man he eventually took hostage.
Harper says Thaxton has been calm and cooperative but hasn't made any demands.
Police evacuated the building, Three Gateway Center, and surrounded it along with county, state and federal agents. No injuries have been reported.
An armed man with a military background
has a criminal record that includes a guilty plea to robbery earlier this year and a minimum six-month jail sentence
A witness who works on the 16th floor identified the business where the hostage situation was unfolding as CW Breitsman Associates, a firm that helps businesses run employee benefits programs.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, emergency dispatchers said the suspect also claimed to have a bomb.
"welln pops youll never have to worry about me again you'll nevr need to by me anything no need to ever waste ur hard earned money on me. i'll live n jail you dnt want me around anymore thats kool bye..."
Originally posted by Ericthenewbie
Crazy...any chance someone can confirm calling the number and speaking with him? I'd be very interested in hearing what they thought the guy's state of mind was?
Pittsburgh hostage suspect surrenders to police, is in custody; everyone involved is safe
Mr. Thaxton was admitted to the Veterans' Court program in November. His court files do not make clear how he was qualified for the program, but note that a defendant must be either active duty or a veteran, who has been diagnosed with an Axis I mental health disorder, who is currently facing criminal charges.
As part of his service plan, dated Dec. 29, he agreed to participate in a dual inpatient treatment facility, and at the conclusion of the program would move to a half-way house.
Mr. Thaxton agreed to cooperate with any recommended mental health and drug and alcohol treatment, as well.
Mr. Thaxton was accepted into inpatient treatment through Pyramid Wilkinsburg.
However, according to court records, Mr. Thaxton's probation officer filed a violation notice with the court on May 23, noting that he was at Altoona Hospital at the time. He was scheduled for a violation hearing on June 13, but it is unclear what happened at that hearing.
His next scheduled court appearance was to be with Judge John A. Zottola in veterans' court on Nov. 8.