A man who has taken a hostage inside a downtown Pittsburgh high-rise was posting Facebook updates as police tried 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 8am Friday, asking for the man he eventually took hostage. Harper said Thaxton has been calm and co-operative but hasn’t made any demands.
Police earlier described the hostage-taker as “ex-military”. Officers from Pittsburgh police evacuated the building, Three Gateway centre, and surrounded it along with county, state and federal agents.
Thaxton has posted a series of comments to his Facebook wall, which is publicly available. At around 9am he wrote: “i cant take it no more im done bro,” later adding: “how this ends is up to yall bro real shyt”.
Later Thaxton said: “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”.
In another entry he appeared to address his father, saying “welln pops youll never have to woryy about me again”.
A worker on the 16th floor told the Associated Press that the hostage-taking unfolded inside the offices of CW Breitsman Associates, a firm that runs employee-benefits programmes. Kathi Dvorak, an administrative assistant at AXA Advisors, said a woman ran into her office yelling for someone to call 911. A second woman ran in and said her office was being robbed.
Several hundred people milled around about a half-block from the 24-storey building after police evacuated it. A light rail stop nearby was closed and at least 20 emergency vehicles surrounded the building.
Other Facebook users have posted comments to Thaxton’s wall urging him to release the hostage.
“Don’t give this society another reason to make you a statistic man…Talk with the negotiator, and let him know “your hurting man”, das all you hurtin, and we hear you!! Damn I hear you!!! we all hear you…,” wrote Cosmo Retro B Smith.
Another user wrote: “Dont do this honey! Things will get better for yoy”.
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