News

Stand-off ends peacefully

A local hostage situation ended peacefully on Friday when 22-year-old Klein Thaxton surrendered to police.

At approximately 8 a.m. on Friday morning, Thaxton entered the 16th floor of 3 Gateway Center in Downtown and took Charles Breitsman of CW Breitsman Associates, which organizes pension and benefit plans for other companies, hostage at knifepoint. Throughout the ensuing six-hour stand-off, Thaxton regularly updated his Facebook.

Thaxton, who pled guilty in January to robbery, receiving stolen property, simple assault, and reckless endangerment, wrote, “i cant take it no more im done bro,” and “this life im livn rite now i dnt want anymore ive lost everything and i aint gettn it back,” on his Facebook account, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Police shut down Thaxton’s Facebook account because it was distracting him from their attempts to negotiate.

As one of his demands, Thaxton asked to speak to his former girlfriend. Police granted the request. Negotiations were eventually successful. Thaxton surrendered to police at about 2 p.m.

Police have not yet revealed a motive for Thaxton’s actions. CNN reported that Pittsburgh Police Chief Nathan Harper said that police believe Thaxton targeted Breitsman specifically, but according to The New York Times, Harper said that Thaxton did not know Breitsman.

Breitsman was unharmed. According to The New York Times and CNN, Thaxton has been charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping, and terrorist threats.