A hostage situation was unfolding during religious services at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. The suspect was captured speaking on a live stream video streaming on the synagogue’s Facebook page during the standoff, Heavy confirmed.
The hostage taker was identified as a British man, Malik Akram. He died in a shooting at the scene, and the hostages are now safe.
In a news conference, authorities said the hostages are unharmed and the hostage taker was killed in a shooting, although it’s not clear who fired the shot. Some hostages were seen running out of a door. Video recoded by WFAA-TV shows hostages running out the door, followed by a man with a gun who then goes back inside.
The live Facebook video suddenly ended just before 2 p.m. central time and was removed from Facebook, but not before Heavy listened to some of it. You can watch some of the video later in this article, however. Heavy recorded more than eight minutes of it. The live video was captioned, “CBI Shabbat Morning Service.”
“Hostage taker is Muhammad Siddiqui and claims to be Aafia Siddiqui’s brother. He is demanding her freedom from an 86-year prison sentence,” reported ABC News’ Aaron Katersky on Twitter before the Daily Beast report.
There are no injuries at this time, CNN reported. The hostage situation/standoff were still ongoing at 2:30 p.m. central time on January 15, 2022.
The synagogue describes itself this way on its Facebook page, “A vibrant Reform Jewish Congregation committed to providing life-long opportunities for spiritual growth and learning based on Jewish values. CBI was established July 18, 1999.”
Jessika Harkey, a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, wrote on Twitter, “At the scene in Colleyville where a local synagogue is being held hostage. The Congregation Beth Israel, located at 6100 Pleasant Run Rd., was in the middle of a service when a gunman entered. A livestream of the service remains ongoing during the situation.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Suspect Said, ‘I Hope I Don’t Have to Shoot Anyone,’ in the Live Video
The live stream video on the church Facebook page captured a man talking. “I will go down dying” and “I’ve lived on these feet for 14 days,” he said at different points of the live video.
The video featured audio of the man ranting for a lengthy period of time, but it did not show video images of what was going on inside the synagogue.
“I hope I don’t have to shoot anyone,” he said at another point, as hundreds of Facebook users listened online. He also said, “At this point in time, we have no casualties.” He also talked about praying.
People who were listening to the live stream wrote comments on the video thread, including these:
“He wants to talk to his sister to say goodbye. They have to delay this.”
“Please report the video.”
Soon thereafter, the video was taken down.
CNN reported that the FBI was at the scene. “The FBI negotiators are the ones who have contact with the person in the building,” Colleyville Police Sgt Dara Nelson told CNN, adding that there is “no threat to the general public.”
Police Confirmed They Were ‘Conducting SWAT Operations’
Colleyville police have not released much information.
Colleyville Police wrote on Twitter, “We are currently conducting SWAT operations around the 6100 block of Pleasant Run Rd. All residents in the immediate area are being evacuated. Please avoid the area.”
The police added, “UPDATE 1/15/22, 1:20 PM The situation at the 6100 block of Pleasant Run Road posted about earlier remains ongoing. We ask that you continue to avoid the area. We will continue to provide updates via social media.”
According to the Star-Telegram, police were negotiating with the man, who has not been identified. It’s not clear whether any injuries have resulted or whether the man has a weapon.
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