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Friends: Gateway Hostage Taker Had Troubled Past

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Mike Regan)

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Mike Regan)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — His day started as what’s described as a ¾ house in Beechview, but it ended at the Allegheny County Jail.

Klein James Thaxton, 22, is accused of taking a hostage and paralyzing part of Pittsburgh.

“The only thing I could think is he was like probably going through some stress right now and all that, probably like rally down and stuff, but I still don’t know why he would do something like that,” Darell Jackson, a friend, said.

Last year, Thaxton was arrested for carjacking a woman in McKeesport and his friends say that’s not all.

“Kicked out of the military and all that, what happened when he stole the car, it’s just a lot, going through a lot,” Sterling Lawrence, a friend, said. “I don’t think –he couldn’t find a job.”

The Thaxtons live on the third-floor of an apartment building in McKeesport and neighbors say the Klein Thaxton they know is not the name they’re watching on the news.

“That’s not Klein,” Vena Robinson said. “It’s not him at all. I don’t know what’s going on.”

Despite criminal charges in his past, both his friends and his neighbors are having trouble understanding this.

“He’s a very good man,” Robinson added.

“He’s a good person – a great person,” Lawrence said.

RELATED LINKS
More Local News
Pittsburgh Police Detail Hostage Suspect’s Actions
Photos: Gateway Hostage Situation

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