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Security Measures Questioned Following Downtown Hostage Situation

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – People returned to work at Three Gateway Center Monday morning for the first time since Friday's hostage situation.

Over the weekend, 22-year-old Klein Michael Thaxton was arraigned and taken to the Allegheny County Jail on $1 million bond.

He will appear in court Wednesday after holding Charles Breitsman hostage for more than five hours on the 16th floor of the building and threatening him dozens of times.

Breitsman was not hurt in the incident.

Today, employees in that building have plenty of questions about how Thaxton managed to get past building security.

Employees who work at Three Gateway Center had the weekend to digest what happened before returning back to work today.

There was certainly a noticeable difference with security patrolling the building and the back entrances were also closed off.

However, employees aren't sure it was enough.

"I mean the funny thing is this morning, I was expecting an ID check, where you work. Nothing. Absolutely nothing," Allan Cronen said.

Within Gateway, individual offices may have their own security in place to grant access.

That is the case where Cronen works on the 23rd floor.

According to police, that's the floor where Thaxton made his first attempts to take someone hostage. However, he moved on because he couldn't get into any of the offices.

KDKA's Marty Griffin Reports:

Management at Gateway released the following statement:

"First and foremost, we are pleased the situation ended peacefully and there were no injuries. Gateway Center is committed to safety. We continually work with local authorities to ensure we are prepared to immediately address emergency situations when they occur."

KDKA's Marty Griffin Reports:

There are mixed reviews from people who work in the building every day.

Some said if there isn't tighter security, it leaves the building open and vulnerable for things to happen.

Others say common sense should play a role.

"Actually, things should change. I mean, there should at least be a deterrent, another deterrent, to get in," Cronen said.

"I think ID's might be okay, but metal detectors and all that - I hope we're not at that point," Kevin Mahood said.

Management at Gateway also arranged for members of the County Crisis Team to be at the building today.

They were handing out literature and available to help anyone who is having problems coping.


More Local News
More News on the Gateway Center Hostage Situation
More Reports From Heather Abraham

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