Pittsburgh SWAT responded to multiple 911 calls this morning at Three Gateway Center saying that a man, identified as 22-year-old Klein Michael Thaxton walked into the offices of CW Breitsman Associates on the 16th floor.
An employee on the 16th floor told WPXI that Thaxton ran into the office at about 8:10 a.m. and demanded a call to be made to 911 and to lock the door. The same employee went on to tell WPXI that the receptionist’s father is being held hostage.
According to that same witness, Thaxton entered armed with a gun and at least two duffle bags that he had claimed contained explosives in the bags.
Police described Thaxton as “cooperative,” throughout the entire day before peacefully surrendering and releasing his one and only hostage from the office building just before 2 p.m.
Thaxton was communicating with friends via Facebook, until Pittsburgh Police shut it down.
His Facebook page stated that he is from Pittsburgh and was previously known to have military experience and is going through a, “tough time in his life,” according to his uncle.
At around 11:58 a.m. this morning, Pittsburgh Chief of Police, Nate Harper said, “We may be here a while but we are willing to be here as long as it will take.”
Only about two hours later, at about two o’clock this afternoon, the suspect surrendered peacefully and released the single hostage. No one in the case sustained any injuries and no shots were fired.
Thaxton was found to not be carrying any explosives in the two duffel bags that he was carrying.
“It just doesn’t seem real, it’s unbelievable,” Kathi Dvorak, an administrative assistant at AXA Advisors on the 17th floor told to WPXI.
Although a great deal of drama occurred today in Downtown Pittsburgh, nobody involved was injured. The hard work of the City of Pittsburgh Police and law enforcement agencies exemplified their training and dedication to seek justice.
“It’s a very happy resolution,” Chief Nate Harper said.