I'm not saying, "Oh, woe is him...pity...pity..." The law will (hopefully) mete out the appropriate punishment to Thaxton (and the FBers--I found that deplorable), but I also hope he's able to be treated by a psychiatrist. It would help to know why he did this, not that there's really a justification.
I'm not a psychologist, nor have I ever been called a self-righteous bleeding heart, but I work with young people. I saw him as just a kid first. Doesn't make me special or anything; it just offers insight into my post. But certainly, he is already a career criminal, and I do think that's sad, because I wonder who else he might have been and hope all is not lost forever. And he's one of too many.
Of course, I hope the gentleman he held will be alright. It's hard to imagine what I'd do in his situation. I can sit and think of a few ideas in the comfort of home, but actually in situ, man, I don't know. Godspeed, Mr. Breitman.
I used to work right near there when I was in Pgh.