Update: 6:15 PM CT
It’s over, thankfully.
Update: 4:40 PM CT
They have the suspect’s name (Leeland Eisenberg) and another hostage was just released and are reporting that one is still being held. The reporters are also stating that they do not have a number of possible hostages.
They are also reporting that the man may have road flares not bombs strapped to him.
David Edwards and Nick Juliano
Published: Friday November 30, 2007
A man with what appeared to be a bomb strapped to his chest walked into a Hillary Clinton campaign office in New Hampshire and is believed to be holding staffers hostage, according to several reports.
Details were still emerging about the situation early Friday afternoon, but Clinton was not in New Hampshire Friday. The man walked into the office around 1 p.m. Friday and apparently demanded to speak with the Democratic candidate.
According to television reports, police have the campaign office surrounded, and witnesses reported seeing an armored vehicle nearby. Sharpshooters also are posted on nearby rooftops. Dozens of officers who appear to be part of a SWAT team are setting up a staging area in a nearby parking lot.
Authorities know of at least two hostages being held at the office, and “the potential for harm to those hostages is high,” police Maj. Michael Hambrook told WHDH television. The hostage take also released two hostages, Hambrook said; the ages of those remaining was unknown. Reports indicate that the released hostages were a mother and her child.
CNN said the hostage taker has been described as a man in his 40s with salt-and-pepper hair.
Clinton has canceled a scheduled campaign stop in Virginia Friday.
“There are sharp shooters on the roof, and police are negotiating with someone in the building,” one witness, who did not want to be identified, told WMUR TV. “The police are notifying all the business owners on the street to evacuate. There are fire trucks behind the Hillary Clinton office.”
Authorities appear to have cleared the area around the office, in downtown Rochester, NH. Campaign offices of Barack Obama and John Edwards are apparently on the same block. Video of the scene broadcast Friday afternoon on MSNBC showed empty streets around the office, with police cars posted outside.
It was not immediately clear what was happening inside the office, and police have asked television stations to stop broadcasting live images of the offices so as not to interfere with their attempts to negotiate with the hostage-taker.
Witness Lettie Tzizik told WMUR that she spoke to a woman shortly after she was released from the office 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.”
Capt. Paul Callaghan, of the Rochester police department, told MSNBC that police had evacuated a two- to three-square block area around the campaign office, as well as a nearby elementary and middle school.
The New Hampshire State Police bomb squad arrived on the scene shortly before 2 p.m. Friday, Callaghan said. He would not say how many campaign staffers were being held hostage.
This video is from MSNBC, broadcast on November 30, 2007.
Hostages Taken At Clinton N.H. Office
POSTED: 1:24 pm EST November 30, 2007
UPDATED: 2:45 pm EST November 30, 2007
An armed man, possibly with a bomb, has taken people hostage at Hillary Clinton’s campaign office in Rochester, N.H.
Clinton was attending a National Democratic Committee meeting in Virginia, but has canceled a 3:30 p.m. EST speech. New York TV station WNBC reported that the suspect has demanded to speak to her.
Police said a man in his 40s, with salt-and-pepper hair, is in the building and has what appears to be an explosive device strapped to his body, TV station WMUR reported.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.