Pittsburgh was the scene of a dramatic hostage situation as police were forced into a long tense stand off with a 22 year old army veteran on Friday. The incident ended peacefully though when the suspect finally gave surendered without any shots fired.
Suspect, Klein Michael Thaxton, allegedly explained to police after his arrest that he had simply woken up "in an evil mood" around 3 a.m. at the three-quarter-way house in Beechview where he was staying, and so decided to take his anger out on the world.
He has claimed that he went downtown with a kitchen knife, hammer, cellphone and charger in a bag looking for trouble. He allegedly contemplated using the hammer on a traffic officer, but changed his mind, and eventually decided to enter the 3 Gateway building as he noticed the lax security in the lobby area.
Police have said he initially took the elevator to the 22nd floor but was unable to access the main office area due to a keypad and card swipe security system. He then made his way to the 16th floor, where he saw worker Charlie Breitsman at his desk, who became his hostage.
Police Chief Nate Harper has said, "He asked him, did he have an iPhone? As Charlie was answering the question, he noticed that Charlie also had a computer and Charlie also had a TV, and he felt this was the office where he needed to be -- at which time, he brandished the knife, terrorized Charlie, opened the door and hollered, 'If you aren't Charlie, you better leave'."
Police quickly attended the scene and a stand off took place, where at one point police believed he had a gun and were concerned he was suicidal.
Thaxton posted messages to his Facebook account during the encounter declaring that he had "lost everything."
His Facebook page was later disabled, allegedly at the request of the police.
Thaxton eventually gave himself up without a fight, and no shots were fired in the end. Harper also confirmed that the hostage Thaxton had taken was fine and came to no physical harm.
The person taken hostage was reportedly the manager of CW Breitsman Associates, LLC, which handles union pensions and insurance, according to CBS Pittsburgh.