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Texas Rabbi Threw Chair At Gunman to Escape; Captor Killed

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

The rabbi of a Texas synagogue says he threw a chair at the gunman and then escaped with two other hostages after 10-hour standoff. Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker told “CBS Mornings” that he let the gunman in Saturday because he appeared to need shelter. He said the man was not threatening or suspicious at first. Later, he heard a gun click as he was praying, the Associated Press reports. .Cytron-Walker said their armed captor grew “increasingly belligerent and threatening” during the standoff, which ended with an FBI SWAT team rushing into the building and the captor’s death. Authorities identified the hostage-taker as a British national, Malik Faisal Akram, 44, who was killed Saturday night after the last hostages ran out of Congregation Beth Israel. The FBI said there was no early indication that anyone else was involved but had not provided a possible motive. The investigation stretched to England, where police in Manchester announced that two teenagers were in custody in connection with the standoff.

President Biden called the episode an act of terror. Cytron-Walker credited security training that his suburban Fort Worth congregation has received for getting him and the other three hostages through the ordeal, which he described as traumatic. “In the last hour of our hostage crisis, the gunman became increasingly belligerent and threatening,” Cytron-Walker said. “Without the instruction we received, we would not have been prepared to act and flee when the situation presented itself.” Akram could be heard for a time ranting on a Facebook livestream of the services and demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist suspected of having ties to al-Qaida who was convicted of trying to kill U.S. Army officers in Afghanistan.


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