UPDATE:The man police have identified as the suspect in the hostage taking has continuously updated his Facebook page during the crisis, including seven times in the past three hours. The posts, which have been met with expressions of support and pleas to reconsider, portray a young man deeply disappointed in the state of his life.
"...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
this life im livn rite now i dnt want anymore ive lost everything and i aint gettn it back"
A suspect identified by police as ex-military has taken a man hostage on the 16th floor of a skyscraper in downtown Pittsburgh claiming to have a bomb, the Associated Press reports.
Shortly after 8 a.m. the suspect entered the offices of an employee-benefits firm and took a worker hostage, prompting two women to flee the office yelling for someone to call 911. Police have since established voice and visual contact with the hostage-taker, and have identified him as well as the male hostage.
"We're looking to see how we can peacefully resolve this," Pittsburgh Police chief Nate Harper told reporters. "But we do understand he was [an] ex-military person."
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Harper identified the man as Klein Michael Thaxton. Thaxton allegedly walked into the office suite of CW Breitsman Associates, which describes itself as a third-party administrative firm that handles pension plans and other employee benefits, and told its employees he had a gun and a bomb.
Harper said the man was cooperating with police hostage negotiators, and that the building's other 23 floors had not been evacuated. Although no injuries have been reported yet, authorities still do not know the level of threat the hostage-taker poses.
"We still have not been able to identify what type of weapon and we still have not been able to know for sure that there's any explosive that this individual has," Harper said, adding that his motive is unknown and that he has made no demands.
Seth Cline is a reporter with U.S. News and World Report. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter.