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Published On: Fri, Sep 21st, 2012

Klein Michael Thaxton, Pittsburgh man, is center of hostage situation, updating status on Facebook

An armed Pittsburgh man, identified as Klein Michael Thaxton, took a hostage inside an upper floor of a downtown office building on Friday, forcing police to evacuate the high-rise.

Klein Michael Thaxton facebook photo

Police negotiators were in contact with the man after he took the hostage shortly after 8 a.m. on the 16th floor of Three Gateway Center, Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper said.

Thaxton, age 22, is  “ex-military” and “relatively calm,” but police didn’t elaborate. He said no injuries had been reported and no shots had been fired.

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. (owned by Charles Breitsman)

According to initial reports, the person being held hostage may be the owner or the manager, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

Mr. Thaxton also is communicating with friends via his Facebook account, a factor that is both “distracting” and “beneficial,” the chief said.

His mother was being escorted by police to the scene to plead with the man to surrender.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, emergency dispatchers said the suspect also claimed to have a bomb.

 Several hundred people milled around about a half-block from the 24-story building after police evacuated it.

In July 2011, Mr. Thaxton was arrested for a variety of charges, including recklessly endangering others and receiving stolen property, after he was accused of stealing a car in McKeesport. Police said he led them on a chase from Oakland through the South Hills and back into the city. He was captured after leaping from the roof of an auto body shop in Uptown and injuring his ankle.

He was then arrested in September 2011, and charged with robbery and related crimes. He pleaded guilty in January and was sentenced to time served on the carjacking charges, and six to 12 months in prison on the robbery.
Mr. Thaxton’s Facebook page has been updated even after the hostage was taken.

8:54 a.m. : “i cant take it no more im done bro”

8:56 a.m. : “how this ends is up to yall bro”

9 a.m. : “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”

9:03 a.m. : “this life im livn rite now i dnt want anymore ive lost everything and i aint gettn it back”

11:16 a.m. : In a plea for people to stop posting “silly” things to his page, “i aint laughin rite now”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Klein Thaxton says he feels ‘powerful when I have a gun’ - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Michael Thaxton took a hostage in a Pittsburgh highrise, made regular updates on Facebook during the event and then surrendered without a fight to police. Klein Thaxton being taken away by authorities […]

  2. Klein Thaxton releases hostage, Charles Breitsman, surrenders to police - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Klein Michael Thaxton, Pittsburgh man, is center of hostage situation, updating status on Facebook […]

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