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. 

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.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »