Hostage taker posts Facebook messages

PITTSBURGH – An armed man claiming to have a bomb was holding a hostage inside a Pittsburgh high-rise building today, authorities said, and he appeared to be posting messages about his situation on Facebook.

Police were negotiating with the man who said he had a gun and a bomb in a 16th-floor office at 3 Gateway Centre, Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper said in a press briefing carried on local television.

“He is not telling negotiators why he’s doing this,” Harper said. There have been no injuries and the hostage is believed to be the man’s intended target, he added.

Police identified the man as Klein Michael Thaxton and said they speaking with him by telephone and monitoring his Facebook page.

On Facebook, a man who appeared to be Thaxton was posting messages beginning at mid-morning. He also posted what he claimed was his telephone number.

“how this ends is up to yall,” said one of his Facebook message.

In another message, he wrote: “I can’t take it no more.”

“this life I’m livn rite now i dnt want anymore ive lost everything and i aint getting it back,” said another message.

Several people responded on Facebook with messages saying they were praying for him and encouraging him to cooperate with police.

Thaxton walked into the office shortly after 8 a.m. and took one man hostage, police said, but so far has not made any demands.

“He’s being very cooperative at this time,” the police chief said. “He is negotiating with our negotiators.” The man’s mother has been taken inside the building to talk to her son, he said.

The incident was taking place in the office of a company that handles union pensions, but police said Thaxton did not appear to have any connection to the company.

On Facebook, the man believed to be Thaxton also wrote: “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…”

The situation was contained and rest of the office building was not evacuated, Harper said. “The other floors are safe.”

Police cordoned off several streets around the office building. (Reuters)

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