Local

Gateway 3 Hostage Taker’s Mother Speaks Out

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

MCKEESPORT (KDKA) — For the first time, we’re hearing from the mother of the suspect in a downtown hostage standoff.

Klein Michael Thaxton surrendered after holding a man hostage on the16th floor of Three Gateway Center for more than five hours.

In an interview with KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland, Thaxton’s mother, Ronda, called him a good student and a good son.

She says she first noticed trouble after he came home from the Army.

“When he came home from the service, when he came home from the service, that’s when I seen the difference,” she said. “He was more angry, than he was before he left. He was more depressed.”

She says she hadn’t seen or talked to her son for weeks, before he called to tell her he was in trouble last Friday.

“My son is sick and I had no clue that he was as sick as he was,” she said. “And I just want him to get the help that he needs, that’s all.”

His lawyer says he has depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and was not taking his medication.

Thaxton has a preliminary hearing slated for October.

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