Three Gateway Center Hostage Stand-Off: A Timeline of Events

Follow Patch for a timeline of events as the hostage situation unfolds at the Gateway Center complex, Downtown.

An armed man continues to negotiate with police as he holds a hostage onthe 16th floor of Three Gateway Center, Downtown.

No shots have been fired, and no one is hurt in the hours-long standoff, though one to two individuals are being held hostage in the offices of law firm Breitsman Associates, police said. 

The suspect is identified as Klein Michael Thaxton, 22, according to KDKA and WPXI. Police initially said he is from Altoona, Blair County, but court records show his address as McKeesport. Authorities have not determined his motivation for the stand-off. 

Pittsburgh Police negotiators are speaking to Thaxton, who police said had served in the military They have described him as cooperative. Workers in Gateway Center have left the building, the Post-Gazette reports. FBI agents, Allegheny County police and other agencies also have responded.

Go to KDKA to view a livestream of the event. 

Here's how the ongoing event has unfolded: 

8:16 a.m. A man walks into the 16th floor of Three Gateway Center and speaks to employees in Suite 1625.

8:32 a.m. Pittsburgh Police SWAT team is called to Three Gateway Center for a report of a man with a gun.The man reportedly will shoot anyone who approaches the building's upper floors. A hostage negotiator is called.

8:45: Pittsburgh Police begin to flood Gateway Center, Golden Triangle area with uniformed and SWAT officers, vehicles and equipment.

8:47 a.m. Police report that a man is barricaded on the 16th floor with one hostage and claiming he has a bomb.

9 a.m.: Media and others working Downtown flood Twitter with updates surrounding the situation, via the hashtags #GatewayHostage  and #threegateway.

9 a.m.  Gateway T station is closed and trains are not picking up/dropping off there. Traffic is routed away from Gateway Center and the Golden Triangle, as is bus service.

9:20 a.m. Three Pittsburgh Police hostage negotiators are on the scene.  Pittsburgh Police Chief Nathan Harper holds first press briefing. Watch it here on WPXI.

9:55 a.m. Pittsburgh Police Chief Harper holds press update, says no shots have been fired and no one is hurt in the incident. He says one black man is holding one, possibly two hostages.

About 10 a.m. Hostage update: #WPXI viewer called to say this is happening at the CW Breitsman insurance office, Three Gateway building in Pittsburgh. C.W. Breitsman handles pension plans for the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 3, the Steamfitters Union and other clients.

10:19 a.m. The only bus stops that are affected now are Liberty Avenue at the Wyndham hotel and Liberty Avenue at Four Gateway Center. Commuters are permitted to use other regular stops.

10:27 a.m. Harper tells KDKA, WPXI and other reporters that other floors have not been evacuated because the hostage situation is contained to the 16th floor. #threegateway

10:40 a.m. Harper says other floors of Three Gateway have not been evacuated because situation contained to the 16th floor. 

Just before 11 a.m. Harper said the gunman's mother has been brought to Three Gateway. He says the gun man is in his 20s, was in the military and has a criminal background: ‪http://cbsloc.al/REY2DD

11:10 a.m. WPXI reports the suspect's name is Klein Michael Thaxton, and that he does not work in the building #threegateway.  KDKA identified him as Klein Michael Thaxton, 22, from the Altoona area in Blair County.

11:20 a.m.: WTAE reports Thaxton has a criminal history, including previous arrests for making terroristic threats and robbery.

11:50 a.m. Thaxton appears to be posting updates in real time to his Facebook page, expressing outrage. Click here to view the page

12:15 p.m. Police ask others to stop posting and responding to Thaxton's Facebook posts.

1 p.m. Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Michael Huss issues statement asking media to refrain from reporting on information from Thaxton's Facebook page until the situation has been resolved.  "It is in the best interest of public safety to contain the information that is being viewed by the hostage suspect," Huss said. We appreciate the public's patience and encourage the media and public to stay updated through Chief Harper." 

1:15 p.m. Police escort woman identified earlier as Thaxton's mother out of Three Gateway Center.

1:15 p.m. Thaxton's Facebook page is taken down and no longer available for public viewing.

1:35 p.m. Harper says police shut down Thaxton's Facebook page because they "want his full attention." The chief also says Thaxton has told negotiators he does not have explosives and does not want to live.

1:50 p.m. Thaxton is in custody. Hostage is reportedly safe.

1:55 p.m. SWAT officers assemble in lobby of building.

Know any more information? Have your own story to tell? Upload your own photos or share your experience. 

P. F. September 21, 2012 at 04:24 PM
As ususal Allegheny County Courts strike out.... Charged with robbery and now walking the streets... What do you expect?
Mike Jones September 21, 2012 at 04:27 PM
We're working on a story about his criminal history. Some charges went through Vets Court. We'll update in a little bit.
Cindi Lash September 21, 2012 at 04:44 PM
That story with more background has been posted, P.F. and Mike, although we're still seeking more information about him.
Jaun September 21, 2012 at 08:13 PM
NE12Ukid September 21, 2012 at 09:54 PM
It's over and no one was injured. Good work, Police negotiators, and all the other police who helped.
Alysha. Garrison September 22, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Jaun you dont even know him. he was a good kid. he was one of my brothers childhood friends its hard to belive he did this. So happy know one was hurt. Still dont undrestand why he did this tho...
Mike Jones September 22, 2012 at 08:49 PM
@Alysha... Anyone who watched his face as police walked him to the police station could see he wasn't in his right mind. Hopefully he gets the professional help it appears that he needs. We've heard a lot about what he did at Gateway Center, but we don't know much else about him. Can you tell us a little bit about him so the picture isn't so one-sided?
cc September 22, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Mike I agree, when these young men and women come back from serving our country with PTSD and are released from the military with mental illnesses they have no place to turn to. My prayers are with him and his family that he gets the treatment for the mental illness that he is suffering with.
NE12Ukid September 22, 2012 at 09:23 PM
The man is mentally ill. Such compassion here. Thank God our police officers were more human than some of the posters here.
Mike Jones September 22, 2012 at 10:41 PM
cc... The P-G reported he served in the Army from Jan '09 to June '10, but we don't know if he served overseas or whether his apparent problems started before, during or after his service. The newspaper also reported he was living in a military "three-quarter home" after his most recent conviction. Let's waits to see what may have contributed to this situation.
cc September 23, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Mike when my son went to the army in 2003 he did basic, AIT training and was shipped over to the sandbox. 3 months later the Humvee he was in was hit and spent the next 9 months in the hospital and rehab. He then was trained to drive trucks and did deliveries to different bases in moving equipment. He did a total of 8 years in the military and is home now driving a truck locally. He still suffers from PTSD, and very little treatment is being done for our men and women that served with a Axis 1. Lucky he got great health care where he works and they pay for his treatments with PTSD. It isn't an easy road for them coming back home. With cuts to the Military and the Va Hospitals treatment for our soldiers will be very limited for any mental illnesses.
Mike Jones September 23, 2012 at 01:28 AM
@cc... Your last comment breaks my heart. I never thought we should've been in Iraq in the first place, but once we were there, I supported our troops until they all came home. Sadly, I think our country and our people seem to forget about their service and their trauma and disabilities. It isn't easy for the families either. It sounds like your family has been through quiet a lot. I hope nothing for the best to you and your son, and I'm glad he is working and has a job that cares for his needs.
cc September 23, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Thank you Mike, I never thought we should of been there either but my son left college on his own and joined the military and was very proud of him for his reasons 9-11 was the reason he joined, it bothered him that our lives in the United States changed on that day and we would never be able to walk around free as we did in the past. The last time PTSD kicked in was when his wanted to go watch fireworks with his wife and children down at the Point. The next day he was a basket case and he called Allegheny General Hospital and was able to get an appointment that day. Something so simple as going to watch fireworks, or a car backfiring can set them off. Mike when I seen his face on TV when he was walking into the police station it reminded me of my son face after seeing fireworks. We also have more men and women that served our country living on the streets, because they don't know how to deal with society. One lives down on Streets Run Road and we try to check on him a few times a week and take him bags of fresh fruit and veggies every week. We do his laundry for him every week and now have him coming to our home on Sundays to take a shower and to have a home cooked meal, charge his go phone that we put minutes on for him. We are trying to get him into a hospital for help, but till he is ready to join society then we have to be patient with him and help him the best we can. We are working with a wonderful group for displaced military and follow what they say.
NE12Ukid September 23, 2012 at 02:29 AM
According to reports in Military online papers, Thaxton never was deployed. He served in Kansas.
Mike Jones September 23, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Your son's service should be commended and shouldn't be taken for granted. And his struggles shouldn't be shrugged off by a nation that seems to want to move on. Maybe you could blog for us some time about how to improve veteran services. I know you're not a fan of Obama, but maybe you could set aside those political feelings and write about your family's issues so other military families can find some solace or the public can understand. If a couple of cats can find a home, imagine what a soldier's parent can do?
cc September 23, 2012 at 06:14 AM
Mike I could do that but we have people on the Patch that are out to destroy anything people says, or believe in such as what was posted, "According to reports in Military online papers, Thaxton never was deployed. He served in Kansas.", whom gets a kick out of seeing other people in pain and no compassion for others. We actually don't know what happen to Thaxton while he was in training as a combat engineer for "1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan." When they actually don't even know what a combat engineer does: OVERVIEW Combat engineers primarily supervise, serve or assist as a member of a team when they are tackling rough terrain in combat situations. They provide their expertise in areas such as mobility, countermobility, survivability and general engineering. JOB DUTIES Construct fighting positions, fixed/floating bridges, obstacles and defensive positions Place and detonate explosives Conduct operations that include route clearance of obstacles and rivers Prepare and install firing systems for demolition and explosives Detect mines visually or with mine detectors
cc September 23, 2012 at 06:27 AM
Continue, Not every person could do this job and it takes months and months of training for them to get this job down. They have to set explosives off, day after day to make sure that they learn this job to a T. He might not have went and fought over in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan but those sounds of explosives and knowing that their job is basically taking out others can actually trigger PTSD, if the person doesn't have a stable mind. Yet this person gets a kick out of seeing others in pain and is very rude in Saying I'm Right, Your Wrong.. I do blog and volunteer for group that helps military families in South Western Pa adjust to life back home, do volunteer work to build and remodel homes for Veterans that come home wounded and can't live in normal homes as they are in wheel chairs and have to adjust to a whole new life style. I don't like obama which is true, but most of the reasons why I don't like him is because of what he has done to our military and wounded soldiers. He hasn't done anything for them nor does he want to help them rehab and get back to a somewhat normal life. We have to many veterans living in the streets, can't function in normal housing and their in no help for them. The programs that Bush put in place to help these returning vets have all been destroyed by obama and it is compassionate people that volunteer their time and money to help them adjust back to society.
cc September 23, 2012 at 06:38 AM
Once again your true colors shine that you don't have a compassionate bone in your body but have to agree with your comment that you are less human then anyone that post on the Patch. You try to make yourself seem so important but how many times have you been called out and how many people left the Patch because of your holier than thou attitude. You alone have chased people away from the Patch, from people that care about feline cats to now veterans that served in our Military.


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