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Gun Seller From Texas Synagogue Hostage Gets 8-Year Sentence

A man who sold a pistol to a man who used it to hold four hostages inside a Texas synagogue before being fatally shot by the FBI was sentenced Monday to nearly eight years in prison for a federal gun crime, CBS News reports. Henry "Michael" Dwight Williams, 33, pleaded guilty in June to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Williams sold Malik Faisal Akram the weapon Akram used when he entered Congregation Beth Israel in the Dallas-area suburb of Colleyville on Jan. 15 and held the synagogue's rabbi and three others hostage. Williams, who was previously convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted possession of a controlled substance, sold Akram a semi-automatic pistol on Jan. 13. Prosecutors said Williams admitted to possession of that firearm despite his prior conviction.


"This defendant, a convicted felon, had no business carrying — much less buying and selling — firearms," said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham. Prosecutors said Williams confirmed selling Akram the handgun at a Dallas intersection. Akram, a 44-year-old British citizen, held hostages while demanding the release of a federal prisoner. The standoff ended after more than 10 hours when the temple's rabbi threw a chair at Akram and fled with the other two remaining hostages just as an FBI tactical team was moving in. None of the hostages was injured. Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker said after the incident that he "told them to go, I threw a chair at the gunman and I headed for the door. And all three of us were able to get out without even a shot being fired." Law enforcement officials praised Cytron-Walker for remaining calm and collected during the ordeal.

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