Breaking: Man takes hostages at Clinton’s NH campaign office; Update: Local paper names suspect, says earlier suspect was misidentified; Update: Last hostage released, suspect in custody

posted at 2:17 pm on November 30, 2007 by Bryan

Going on right now in Rochester, NH. Clinton wasn’t at the office or even in the state. She’s in Virginia today. The man has what appears to be a bomb strapped to his chest.

An armed man has taken two campaign workers hostage at the Hillary Clinton campaign office in Rochester, police said.

Officials with the campaign confirmed that there were two workers taken hostage in the office on 28 North Main St.. A woman and her baby told workers at a neighboring business that she was released by the hostage-taker.

“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,'” witness Lettie Tzizik said.

There are several police officers positioned across the street from the office, crouched down behind cruisers with guns drawn, according to a reported at the scene.

Update (AP): MSNBC says the guy asked to speak to Hillary.

Update (AP): As of 3:05, WMUR claims that one of the hostages was let go. I’m not sure if he’s referring to one of the earlier hostages or one of the remaining two. Sounded like the latter.

Update (AP): WMUR is a little unsure too but they now think both of the remaining hostages have been released. They’re trying to confirm that everyone’s out.

Update (AP): Surprise — he has issues. “The suspect was a well-known local man with history of emotional issues who told his son to watch the news, a well-placed law enforcement source told ABC News’ Pierre Thomas.” Bill Shaheen, Hillary’s NH co-chair, says “We’ve had no security issues, and I’m not even sure this is a threat to her, to my knowledge.”

Update (AP): I’m not going to repeat the name until it’s confirmed but Carl Cameron’s interviewing a kid on Fox who says the suspect is a friend of the family and that the guy’s been having mental problems lately, allegedly complaining that the government is planting bugs in his head.

Update (AP): All right, it looks like the suspect is confirmed as [deleted]. HuffPo’s putting together a dossier on him, doubtless hoping against hope that something turns up to suggest he’s a conservative. A friend of [deleted]’s suggested a few minutes ago on Fox that he was paranoid, believing that there was some conspiracy of people out to get him.

The “bomb” appears to be road flares.

Update (AP): The cops are giving a press conference and insisting that it’s still a hostage situation — although they won’t confirm that there are still people inside.

Update (AP): Someone’s been burned because MSNBC is reporting that the suspect is someone other than the person I mentioned above. I removed the name and the link to HuffPo; I’ll update again when we know for sure.

Update (AP): WMUR is saying now that there are still two hostages inside. There’s also something about the suspect having been distraught from a divorce and drinking for hours.

Update (AP): I’m guessing it’s MSNBC that’s been burned and that the original suspect is the correct one because they haven’t repeated the name of the second suspect for awhile now. Smells like a climbdown. Drudge had better hope they’re wrong because he’s got the first suspect’s name at the top of the Report right now.

Update (AP): As of 5:38, it looks like another hostage has been released.

Update (AP): Looks like it’s MSNBC 1, Fox/Drudge 0. Foster’s Daily Democrat says the second suspect is the correct one.

Update (AP): And Fox is doubling down. They’re still going with the first suspect. Quite a subplot.

Update (AP): Fox is backing off the earlier suspect’s name now and saying authorities are naming the second guy. I still won’t print it here until we have a little more confidence, but the second suspect is known to use aliases. Could he and the first suspect be the same guy?

Update (AP): Whoever he is, the cops have him in custody now.


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