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Pa. man takes hostage, talks with friends on Facebook

1:35 PM, Sep 21, 2012   |    comments
(File Photo by KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages)
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PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- A man who claims to be armed has taken a hostage in an office bulding in downtown Pittsburgh is communicating with friends via Facebook and showing signs of despair, police say.

At the same time, friends have weighed in to try to get him to end the standoff. His mother has also been brought to the scene.

The 22-year-man, identified as Klein Michael Thaxton, took a hostage at around 8:10 a.m. ET in Suite 1625, the offices of the CW Breitsman, a pensions and investment company, in Three Gateway Center, police said.

Early in the ordeal, he posted this message on his Facebook page:

"i cant take it no more im done bro"

Police are negotiating with the man but say he has made no specific demands.

Police Chief Nate Harper said authorities are following the conversations on Thaxton's Facebook page.

"We hope friends will stop communicating on Facebook and let our trained negotiators handle the matter," he said.

At the same time, Harper said some of the attempts by friends to convince him to resolve the situation can be "beneficial."

"But we hope that people will keep it short," Harper said. In any case, he said, "if we find it necessary, we will cut links."

Harper said Thaxton has remained calm.

"From his demeanor, we may be here awhile. But we are willing to be here as long as it takes," he said.

Thaxton took his hostage on the 16th floor of Three Gateway Center.

(USA Today)

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