On Friday, police received calls shortly after 8:15 a.m., reporting a man with a gun at the Gateway Center Building in Pittsburg. A 22-year-old man, who authorities suspect to be Klein Michael Thaxton took another man hostage in a suite on the 16th floor of this high rise office building.
The suspect was on Facebook for hours during the hostage situation. Authorities state that he was paying more attention to Facebook than to the negotiating team, which was impairing the teams’ abilities to resolve the situation
There were messages being sent to Thaxton that may have encouraged him to continue with the hostage situation. SWAT officers monitored Thaxton’s Facebook page for about two hours before they shut down his page.
Thaxton surrendered peacefully, and his hostage was not harmed, authorities say. He was arraigned on Saturday and charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping and terrorist threats. Thaxton is being held on $1 million bail.
Thaxton’s attorneys stated, “Mr. Thaxton has expressed remorse for what has happened. However, at this time we do not wish to speculate as to why this alleged incident occurred. Moreover, we are unable to discuss his mental health history or the role that a mental health disorder may have played in this matter.”
Thaxton, authorities say, is a former Army private who was in the army from December 2008 through June 2010, but was never deployed. He had a criminal history in which he pleaded guilty to robbery and other related charges. After several months in jail, he was allowed to transfer his sentence under veterans court to an inpatient treatment program.