Pittsburgh Hostage Situation Ends Peacefully [VIDEO]
Pittsburgh Police have both the suspect and hostage in custody as a hostage situation ends peacefully.
Police Chief Nate Harper says Klein Michael Thaxton surrendered to police; he made no demands throughout the incident whicha began shortly after 8AM on Friday morning.
“We don’t know why he selected this company. We don’t know what the tie-in is with the hostage that he has there, and we’re still working to figure this all out,” Harper said.
In an usual twist to the situation, Thaxton was posting on his Facebook page in the hours after he took a man hostage inside the office of a benefits administration firm on the 16th floor of Three Gateway Center.
The page went offline around 1 p.m., about five hours after Thaxton allegedly entered a benefits administration company’s office with a gun and asked to see the man he took hostage.
The Facebook exchanges had the potential to both help and harm the negotiations, said Harper. It’s helpful that Thaxton can see “that people are concerned about his well-being, said Harper, but “it is a distraction for negotiating.”
Harper noted that Thaxton remained calm and they want to keep him that way.
WPXI TV reports Thaxton’s mother has been brought in by police to negotiate with him. “I told him I love him,” Ronda Thaxton told WTAE TV after talking to her son on a phone. “I told him we could fix this. We can get him the help that he needs.”The station also reports Thaxton is “ex-military” but did not elaborate.
A witness who works on the 16th floor identified the business as CW Breitsman Associates, a firm that runs employee-benefits programs.
Harper says no shots have been fired and no injuries are reported.
Several hundred people milled around about a half-block from Three Gateway Center, a 24-story building, after police evacuated it.
Thaxton posted using an ebonics style of English. His last message wass “this life im livn rite now i dnt want anymore ive lost everything and i aint gettn it back instead of walkn around all broke n shyt while niggas stunt on me n shyt.”
He also posted a message for his father. “Welln pops youll never have to woryy 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…i love u assata sis.” And he posted his phone number.
Friends are offering prayers for Thaxton and advice in their posts.
The page offers conflicting information about his education showing him graduating from 4 different schools between 2004 and 2008. He has posted he works at Pauly’s Car Garage, which has an incomplete Facebook page, and is from McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
His timeline photo shows President Obama, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a third person. His likes include McDonald’s and rapper Rick Ross.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.