A man who took an office worker as a hostage in Pittsburgh Friday was making comments on his Facebook page during negotiations with police, which the police chief says was a "distraction" from the effort to resolve the crisis.
The six-hour standoff did end peacefully when Klein Michael Thaxton, 22, was taken into custody by police. Negotiators spent hours on the phone trying to coax Thaxton to surrender, and police were also monitoring his Facebook page.
"how this ends is up to yall," Thaxton reportedly said in one of his Facebook messages.
"welln pops youll never have to woryy about me again you'll nevr need to by me anything no need to ever waste ur hard earned money on me. i'll live n jail you dnt want me around anymore thats kool bye...i love u assata sis" was another.
Thaxton's Facebook page was taken down a few hours into the standoff.
Thaxton told police he had a gun and a bomb in the 16th-floor office at 3 Gateway Center, Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper told reporters at the scene.
"He is not telling negotiators why he's doing this," Harper said. The hostage, Charles Breitsman, was unharmed, and there were no injuries in the incident, he added.
Thaxton walked into the office of a company that handles union pensions shortly after 8 a.m. and took Breitsman hostage, police said, but had not made any demands.
On Facebook, while the page was still up, several people responded to Thaxton's remarks, saying they were praying for him and encouraging him to cooperate with police.
Harper said that while the remarks show "that people are concerned about his well-being," the comments and Facebook activity were also "a distraction" for police negotiators, and he asked those who were commenting to "keep it short."
"We would hope his friends would stop communications on Facebook, let our trained negotiators deal with this matter," Harper said.
Others on Facebook were urging Thaxton to continue his standoff with police, Harper said. Police were monitoring those Facebook messages, and those people could face criminal charges as accessories, he said.
On its face, the case is similar to another one last year in Utah, involving a 16-hour standoff with police, and the suspect posting updates about the tense situation on Facebook.
Jason Valdez was wanted on a felony drug warrant, but refused to come out of a motel room there and refused to let an acquaintance in the room with him go free.
Police tried serving the warrant at around 5 p.m. on a Friday, but Valdez barricaded himself in the room with the aquaintance, a woman. That led to a SWAT team on the scene, and police and family members trying to negotiate with Valdez. During those subsequent 16 hours, Valdez posted photos and updates on Facebook, according to police.