According to Huff Po:
Police believe the hostage is the owner of CW Breitsman Associates, the business where the incident is taking place.
Thaxton has a criminal history. In March, he was arrested on suspicion of carjacking a motorist in McKeesport, and then giving chase when police tried to arrest him, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Here are screenshots of Thaxton's profile prior to it being taken offline.
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