Hostage situation at Hillary campaign office in NH




4:51 pm NBC tentatively identifies the suspect as “Leland Eisenberg.” Son-in-law claims he was “drinking and that he was someone who wanted to be hospitalized.”

4:48 pm “That was the most pointless press conference of all time” was the message I got from a reader. And, he’s right.

4:35 pm Just heard from a very reliable source that all of Clinton’s offices in Iowa have been shut down.

3:44 pm MSNBC: From AP, There were four hostages, but three have been released. One hostage is still being held. Also, the suspect is “known to local authorities from a past incident and that he may have a history of emotional problems.”

3:19 pm ABC NEWS: Suspect is an older male with a history of mental illness who told his son today “watch the news.”

2:58pm You can watch live coverage of the story on the local TV news in NH via this link.

2:52pm UPDATE from Channel 9 in NH:

Officials with the campaign confirmed that there were two workers taken hostage in the office on 28 North Main St., and NBC News reported that the man demanded to speak to Clinton.

Clinton, who is not in New Hampshire, canceled a National Democratic Committee meeting in Virginia….

Witnesses described the man as in his 40s with salt-and-pepper hair. There are several police officers in the area with guns drawn….

“There are sharp shooters on the roof, and police are negotiating with someone in the building,” said another witness, who did not want to be identified. “The police are notifying all the business owners on the street to evacuate. There are fire trucks behind the Hillary Clinton office.”

Presidential candidate Barack Obama also has an office in Rochester, and it has been evacuated. Staff members in John Edwards’ office, which is a few buildings away, were also evacuated.

CNN reports that Hillary just canceled her speech she was going to give momentarily at the DNC winter meeting here in Virginia.

Channel 5 Boston has much more. The national cable TV networks have totally dropped the ball on this story – it took them a good half hour AFTER ABC broke the story on their Web site:

The incident happened at about 1 p.m. Friday at 28 North Main St. in Rochester. The man had what appeared to be a bomb strapped to himself inside the Democrat’s office, according to Bill Shaheen, a top state campaign official.

A witness said 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,” 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.

“There are sharp shooters on the roof, and police are negotiating with someone in the building,” said another witness, who did not want to be identified. “The police are notifying all the business owners on the street to evacuate. There are fire trucks behind the Hillary Clinton office.

“I walked out and I immediately started running, and I saw that the road was blocked off. They told me run and keep going,” said Cassandra Hamilton, who works in an office adjacent to the building.

Nearby businesses have been evacuated, and the St. Elizabeth Seaton School has been locked down.

Reuters:

An armed man took people hostage at a New Hampshire campaign office for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton on Friday, New Hampshire’s WMUR TV reported.

Clinton, who was scheduled to campaign in Virginia on Friday, was not present at the office in Rochester, New Hampshire, according to TV reports.

The number of hostages was unclear, WMUR said. A separate report on MSNBC said a man claiming to have a bomb strapped to him walked into the campaign office.


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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