Rabbi threw chair at Texas synagogue kidnappers before escaping

  • Jewish community members being held hostage escaped after a rabbi threw a chair at one of the hostage-takers.
  • The 10-hour siege ended in an exchange of fire, in which one suspect died.
  • The suspect has been identified by the FBI as a British citizen.

A rabbi who was among four Jewish community members captured at a Dallas-area synagogue said Monday that he and others managed to escape after throwing a chair at the kidnapper and then to one exit door had rushed.

The 10-hour siege of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, west of Dallas, Texas, ended in gunfire Saturday, releasing all four hostages and killing the suspect. It is not clear if the shooter took his own life or was killed by members of an FBI hostage rescue team.

The suspect, identified by the FBI as a British citizen, knocked on the synagogue door during Sabbath prayers and was let in and offered tea, Rabbi Charlie Cytron Walker, who was among the detainees, told CBS.

READ | ‘It was horrible’: All hostages released at Texas synagogue, gunman dead after hours-long standoff

Walker then returned to prayer, after which he said he “heard a click – and it could have been anything – but it turned out to be his gun”.

A hostage was released unharmed after six hours of tense negotiations conducted with the help of the family of the suspect, 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram.

Still held captive with two others, Walker said he relied on the FBI’s hostage training when determining if and when to attempt an escape.

“When I saw an opportunity where he wasn’t in a good position I made sure the two gentlemen who were still with me were ready to go and (and that) the exit wasn’t too far away .” Walker said.

I told them to go. I threw a chair at the shooter and headed for the door and all three of us got out without a shot being fired.

The FBI hostage rescue team then raided the synagogue, resulting in Akram’s death. Police in England say they have arrested two teenagers for questioning.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.