Breaking, from TPM:
From local WCVP-TV in Boston comes some frightening news::
BOSTON — A man took people hostage Friday at a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign office in New Hampshire, police said.The incident happened at about 1 p.m. Friday at 28 North Main St. in Rochester. Officials said that a man is holding people hostage at the office, but it is unclear how many people are being held.
The St. Elizabeth Seaton School and other surrounding buildings have been locked down.
Hillary is not there — she’s in Washington, D.C., at the Democratic National Committee meeting.
And more from MSNBC:
The man claimed to have bomb strapped to him when he walked into the office in Rochester, WHDH-TV reported.
Police have surrounded the building, evacuated the immediate area and placed other buildings, including a nearby school, in lockdown.
Clinton, who was scheduled to campaign in Virginia on Friday, was not present at the office on Rochester’s Main Street.
The number of hostages was not immediately known.
I have no idea where this is coming from, but it’s scary.
UPDATE: More from the MSNBC article:
WMUR-TV quoted a woman, Lettie Tzizik, saying she spoke to someone who said she had just been released by the man.
“A young woman with a 6-month or 8-month-old infant came rushing into the store just in tears, and she said, ‘You need to call 911. A man has just walked into the Clinton office, opened his coat and showed us a bomb strapped to his chest with duct tape,'” Tzikik said, recalling the moment.
Senator Clinton is in Virginia, speaking at the DNC’s fall meeting–According to a source in attendance, Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean just announced that Clinton is canceling her speech and leaving the meeting to deal with the situation.
UPDATE II: CNN is now reporting that there are two hostages being held in the campaign office.
UPDATE III: MSNBC is saying that the hostage-taker is a man in his 40’s with salt-and-pepper hair. In addition, they report that negotiations have begun:
Police surrounded the building, evacuated the immediate area and placed other buildings, including a nearby school, under lockdown.
“There are sharpshooters on the roof, and police are negotiating with someone in the building,” another witness told WMUR-TV. “There are fire trucks behind the Hillary Clinton office.”
WNBC-TV in New York quoted an unidentified law enforcement source as saying the man wanted to speak with Clinton.
Again, scary stuff. I have no idea how this will play out or what this man wants, but hopefully everyone will be okay.
UPDATE IV: Barack Obama and John Edwards both have offices in N.H. close to Clinton’s, and both of those offices have been closed and evacuated as a precaution.
In addition, the Clinton campaign has released a statement:
“We are in close contact with state and local authorities and are acting at their direction. We will release additional details as appropriate.”
UPDATE V: CNN reports that the hostages have been released:
Two people held hostage at Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign office in Rochester, New Hampshire, have been freed, CNN affiliate WMUR said Friday.
Neither hostage was harmed, another affiliate, WCVB, reported on its Web site.
CNN has confirmed that at least one hostage has walked free, about two hours after the situation began.
UPDATE VI: As of 3:20, CNN is reporting that the man is still in the campaign office. Is it over? It doesn’t feel like it…
UPDATE VII: The main remains in the office, but MSNBC has obtained some details on who he is:
The man, who was not identified by name, is known to local authorities and has behaved erratically in the past, a source told NBC News’ Pete Williams. The source, who was not identified, told Williams the man went to a local hardware store earlier Friday, where he apparently bought some of the material he wore into the campaign office.
This seems to be just a disturbed man making a scene, but the question here is whether or not he’s really dangerous or not. In a situation like this, you take no chances.
UPDATE VIII: Fox News is reporting, via The Huffington Post, that the hostage taker is a man named Troy Stanley:
Fox News reports Troy Stanley’s son called authorities to say the Hillary Clinton campaign hostage taker was his dad, Troy Stanley. He added that his father bought flares at a local hardware store, and that is what is strapped on. The son says he does not have a bomb, just flares.
Other witnesses said Stanley claimed in recent months that there was a government conspiracy against him. He is reportedly recently divorced.
UPDATE IX: More on the hostage taker’s mental state, from Raw Story:
Stanley apparently had “been drinking for 72 hours” and inquired about where to buy roadside flares before telling his stepson to watch the news tonight, according to the witness.
Update X: Now CNN’s reporting that there is believed to be one hostage remaining in the office:
By 4 p.m., three people, including a young child, had been released. At least one more person, a woman, was thought to still be inside.
And The Huffington Post has more on the hostage taker:
Fox News talked to a friend of Troy Stanley, Arnold Bennett, who said that he has had financial and marital problems and lost his brother and friends in recent years:
Arnold Bennett: My last conversation, I just wanted to see if I could help.
Fox News: When was the last time you talked?
AB: A couple of weeks ago at a gas station.. It took him a few minutes to recognize her [my wife] and he calmed down a bit. He’s struggling…
He’s come from a tremendous family and was a tremendous man in this community. He’s had some really hard luck, both with his marriage and financially and losing his brother and some of our other close friends have gone in the past few years.
FINAL UPDATE: From CNN:
Police took into custody a man they say walked into Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign office in Rochester, New Hampshire, and took several people hostage Friday.
The man, Lee Eisenberg, claimed to have a bomb strapped to his chest, but it turned out to be road flares held with duct tape, police said.
“I am very grateful that this difficult day has ended so well. All of my campaign staff are safe,” Clinton said outside her Washington home. “I want to thank them for their extraordinary courage and coolness under some very difficult pressures and dangerous situations.”
“This has been a very hard day for all of us in our campaign,” said Clinton, who was planning to go to New Hampshire Friday night. “I’m just relieved to have this situation end so peacefully without anyone being injured.”
The hostage and Eisenberg called CNN multiple times throughout the afternoon and talked to CNN staffers.
Eisenberg said he had mental problems and couldn’t get anyone to help him. CNN assumed Eisenberg could be watching CNN’s broadcast and chose not to report his calls to avoid compromising the safety of the hostages.
Everything turned out okay, and hopefully this man can get the help he needs.