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. Jess


    September 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. barfly

    jump, i gotcha

    September 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Klein Thaxton



      September 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bud D.

    Dude needs to pull a Budd Dwyer already.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ray

    5 hours of new coverage and they still do NOT know nothing !!! ALL 3 local tv news stations have been on the air live with no commercial breaks !! the local NBC and CBS station just went back to local programming a little after 1 PM and now the local CBS has gone back to local programming at 1:30 PM. The New Media have made a mockery of the whole situation, giving us know new for 5 hours !! Now that they have gone off the air, I'm sure the whole situation will end soon.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sinfully Yours

      Its a media "blackout." The cops know the guy has access to the net and tv and is watching the story on the news channels and online. The cops asked the stations to stop showing the broadcast so he doesn't see their moves. Its a smart move by SWAT.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bleh

      I agree, SY, and it DID end once this ego-tripping fool didn't see himself anymore!

      September 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Marian OShea

    9/21/12, If he claims a bomb is with him- then why are they evacuating a minimal amount-why not the entire building, for bombs have been known to explode buildings killing hundreds. They closed off one room where the suspect is with his bomb-like if it goes off-only that room would be affected.
    get real!

    September 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Muffler Maddie

    I'll help you defuse that!

    September 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CaesarXIII

    I've been watching this out my window a few blocks down now since about 9am

    September 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sinfully Yours

      It must be as exciting as watching paint dry.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sinfully Yours

    Careful Maddie, you don't know where that's been. 😛

    September 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bleh

    Glad it ended peacefully.

    September 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Phil

    God bless you for ending this peacefully.

    Thank you!

    September 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      i am so happy it ended like it did too , thank god ,

      September 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Let it Be

    Glad that all ended well in this. His family and friends were on facebook begging him to surrender. At least some good news for today.

    September 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mandy

    Pittsburgh is suck a yukk city, it keeps pouring down all the time through the year. u wont get to see a lotta sun too. plus the people just suck. worst city to live in.

    September 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Defiant1

      Excuse me? It doesn't look like that in the picture or any time I've visited there. I'm assuming your sports team lost to theirs. lol so sad.

      September 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • landonhank

      Yeah Pittsburgh is such a bad city. I mean all of those publications touting it, what do they know huh? National Geographic named it one of the top must-see places in the world (only US city on the list), the Economist naming it the most-livable city, fDi Magazine named it large city of the future, etc. Give me a break mandy, you've never been there.

      September 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • haziman

      Mandy, THEN PLEASE DON'T COME BACK. We don't want judgmental people in our town anyway. And who are you to say that about Pittsburgh???Are you some worldly traveler that knows all the hot spots. Get a life and stay in your own town. Probably Cleveland.

      September 21, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kevo

    Pittsburgh sucks bad and is full of mentally ill people like this guy.. i know i live here

    September 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • haziman

      Then why don't you go join him in the Allegheny County Jail tonight...you two can get friendly in the sack.

      September 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sivick

    Jump damn you! stop hogging that healthy liver!

    September 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Market Timer Wrongway Daytrader

    Did AxA Pension lose all hims Mothers Pension money? I notice no one is mentioning that he spcifically requested a broker in that building that he took as a Hostage...
    hmmmmm People Snap when you lose their $$$$

    September 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
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