Police: Hostage standoff ends peacefully in Pittsburgh
September 21st, 2012
01:59 PM ET

Police: Hostage standoff ends peacefully in Pittsburgh

[Updated at 1:59 p.m.] The man suspected of taking a hostage in Pittsburgh's Gateway Center high-rise Friday morning has surrendered peacefully, and his hostage was not harmed, Pittsburgh Police Chief Nathan Harper said.

[Updated at 1:20 p.m.]Police are negotiating with a "relatively calm" gunman believed to be holding at least one person hostage in a downtown Pittsburgh high-rise, the city's police chief said Friday.

Police have identified the man, a former military member with a criminal record, and they brought his mother to the scene, Chief Nathan Harper said.

The suspect walked into CW Breitsman Associates' office Friday morning and asked for a particular man, so police believe a male hostage was targeted, Harper said. CW Breitsman handles money for pension funds. The chief said the gunman never worked there, and it's unclear how he was related to the company.

The situation is contained to one room of a suite on the 16th floor of Gateway Center Building No. 3, Harper said. As of 10:55 a.m., no one had been hurt and no shots had been fired, he added.

Police received calls shortly after 8:15 a.m., reporting a man with a gun. Some witnesses reported he was carrying two duffel bags. Harper said the suspect also claimed to have a bomb.

Several people who work in the building told local television stations that police had evacuated them from the building. Harper said since the incident was contained to one room, evacuations were minimal, and people were still occupying other parts of the skyscraper.

Jim Garra, who works at AXA on the 16th floor, told WTAE that when he arrived at work around 8:10 a.m., security officers were milling about. When he took the elevator to his office, he found a commotion, including a woman he described as "hysterical, on the phone," describing an intruder in the building. Garra said he locked the door to his office until police came to evacuate it.

Public transportation has been shut down at Gateway Center, and police have blocked off nearby roads as well.

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Filed under: Crime • Pennsylvania
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. common tater

    Stock market dove to 8,000 four years ago, now it's pushing 13,000. Are we better off than we were? You betcha, especially those of us who have our retirement tied to an IRA/mutual fund.

    September 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. dave

    Guy could have strapped a bomb to himself just as easy as using a gun. Let's outlaw anything that can be purchased to make explosives. That would solve everything. Duh.....

    September 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. banasy©

    I am glad this was resolved peaceably.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • llucho

      I am so glad that the RCMP was not involved

      September 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. blackbeard79

    Hate how the media defines this guy as a "former military member", instead of a current plumber, accountant, etc. It is almost begging the readers to jump to conclusions, regardless of the duration or scope of this individual's military service.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    You know your from Pennsylvania, when your snowblower gets stucks stuck on the roof. ;)

    September 21, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Only in Pennsylvania. You can give directions to Intercourse with a straight face.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • banasyC

      Gotta love giving directions to Intercourse...

      September 21, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Stupid phone.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    I remember barfing a Philly cheeze steak on a parking lot accross from the old Three Rivers Stadium. To this day, just the thought of phillly cheesesteak turns my stomach. (woa. gettin' dizzy)
    I headed West through the rolling hills of Pennsylvania and never looked back. I do not know how people can stand living in that neck of the woods. (D.C., Philly, NYC, etc) It's filthy, it stinks, and you can't put 10 million rats in the same box and expect them not to eat each other. It's simply going to happen, and does, daily/nightly. (domestic terrorism)

    September 22, 2012 at 6:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Sydney

    This guy clearly has problems. I have seen some people who have gotten off of the right track of life, and it's not pretty. Honestly, I wonder what brought him to do this. I hope that the police can resolve this as fairly as possible; that, since they say he's a relatively calm gunman, he stays that way. Maybe somehow they could set him(the gunman) straight, and I wish that they can but I may be a bit naive.

    September 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Hollywood

    Im glad it ended safely. Theres enough bad news these days to go around.

    September 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Mary

    PA is also famous for Priests and church officials holding boys hostage.
    Enter the recent victory of the first Roman Catholic official in the United States to be convicted of covering up s@xual abuses by priests.

    I don't expect Cnn or the main stream media to focus solely on raype victims with in organizations, but to choose the stories wisely that they cover.
    Meaningful ones, ones that have impact on society at large, not an obscure lone gun holding ONE hostage, when organized religions have held not only boys but their families and friends hostage... in a ripple affect.

    September 23, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RUMe2

    There's a lot of different blogs on CNN, this is the breaking news blog, so stuff like that wouldn't be on here.What you want may be on another part of CNN. Happy searching!

    September 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mary

      Breaking news of more significance happen more often than a lone gunman with ONE hostage deary

      September 24, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
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