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. Troll detector

    an English Teacher that can't spell "Grammar." Interesting :p

    September 21, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff

    I hope they will all be ok. Maybe the bad guy will order pizza as suggested above. May as well make the best of a bad situation.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. Shane

    @Tom.. Im from Pittsburgh. Well five miles from the downtown area.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. Apul M'Deek-Aoud

    Any bets he's a recently fired ex-employee?

    WHY do CxOs think they can throw people out like yesterdays garbage & not pay a price for destroying the lives of ex-employees & their families?

    September 21, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  5. I went to school too

    Clearly you are not an "Engligh" teacher Shirelle.

    There is Pittsburg, TX and Pittsburgh, PA...two different places. Grammar has no effect on the spelling of proper names.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. Shane

    Hah, didn't notice that. Fail troll is fail.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. a complete NRA dolt

    If those hostages all had guns, this would be over by now.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • InGatewayOne

      Unfortunately some of the offices do not allow you to carry.

      September 21, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Chutzpah

      it would be a sure thing if the hostages also had bombs

      September 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stanley

    I lived in Pitsburgh during the 1970's. It was a nice place. The bicentennial celebration in 1976 was sooo fun.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. Stanley

    Anyone much remember the 1976 bicentennial celebration? They made a really big deal of it all over the US. It was fun. Everyone wearing Uncle Sam and patriotic hats. It was a happy time.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Doc Knowitall

      Now you must wear Uncle Obama hats and Obama Flags.

      September 21, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Livingston

      You got his political leanings from a post saying he liked Pittsbugh i 1976? Wow, you DO knowitall!

      September 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BOMBO ©

    So many trollish comments, and some of you are arguing with them – or even agreeing with them.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Sinfully Yours

      *nod*

      September 21, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. BOMBO ©

    That's nothing. Here in Alberta, the soil is so rich you don't have to grow anything. You just eat the soil. It tastes like a sort meaty chocolate cake.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike_PGH

    Breaking news is this guy is an irrate Pirate fan and the hostage is Neil Huntington.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Good idea. Sign me up.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • trish

      Now that was funny.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jokesterer

    Finally! Something worthy of national news. And a gun is involved to boot!

    September 21, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • dude

      he's also on facebook leaving his number for everyone and adding people as friends.......Klein thaxton

      September 21, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. gmenfan54

    The gunman stated he will surrender when Mitt Romney releases his tax returns.

    September 21, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Ajay

      He's a goner...

      September 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Susan

    Are you serious???? You can't spell Pittsburgh, you can't spell grammar.....and you can't spell english. Yet you are on a computer where you could easily look up such things. Actually, stay on here. We don't need you teaching kids today. And for you Pittsburgh dissers – PLEASE come visit before passing judgement on my fair city (best place to live, best entrance view to a city, 2nd best scenic drive in America atop Mt Washington, the list goes on). What do YOU have?

    September 21, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • one2wonder

      ISusan -I left Pittsburgh years ago and moved south. I still miiss it! There is no place like home – those hills, valleys, the rugged terrain, those mountains. Such beauty!

      September 21, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      We just took a weekend trip to Pittsburgh. Great city. Hip, fun, beautiful.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Minga

      You go girl! Rep our beautiful city.....

      September 21, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • hey oh

      pittsburgh sucks.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Yes, Pittsburgh is a great city. Great view, great cost of living, exceptionally high level of crime(in the top 20 most dangerous places in the US). Truly a wonderful place to live.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • ceyan

      No "e" in judgment.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kent

      @Ceyan Actually, there is one "e" in judgment. Look again! ;)

      September 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      LIKE !! your comment ,

      September 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
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