Friday, May 20, 2022

RAW VIDEO: Attack on Texas Synagogue ends with 4 hostages safe and suspect dead, authorities confirm

COLLEYVILLE, Texas — After nearly a nearly 12-hour hostage negotiation, authorities confirm all four hostages at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas are alive and safe.

Law enforcement agencies responded to the situation shortly before 11 a.m. on Saturday. Around 9:33 p.m., Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Colleyville police tweeted that all hostages were “out alive and safe.” 

During a news conference late Saturday, Colleyville police and the FBI confirmed the suspect was dead.

SWAT officers with the Colleyville Police Department, as well as officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety and FBI, initially responded at 10:40 a.m. to the scene in the 6100 block of Pleasant Run Road near Tinker Road and State Highway 121. 

Police soon evacuated residents near the immediate area of the scene within the Dallas suburb, located 16 miles northeast of Fort Worth.

FBI officers quickly took over the lead of the investigation and its operations.

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Matthew DeSarno, special agent in charge of FBI Dallas, praised officers and FBI agents for their negotiation tactics that brought the end of the standoff.

“I’m extremely proud of the team of negotiators, the FBI agents and local police officers, who worked all day long engaging the subject and likely saved the lives of the subjects just through their engagement,” DeSarno said. “It’s very likely this situation would have ended very badly early on in the day had we not had professional, consistent negotiation with the subject.”

DeSarno said the hostage taker was specifically focused on an issue not directly connected to the Jewish community, and there was no immediate indication that the man was part of any broader plan. But DeSarno said the agency’s investigation “will have global reach.”

It wasn’t clear why the attacker chose the synagogue.

Law enforcement officials who were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation and spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity earlier said that the hostage-taker demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist suspected of having ties to al-Qaida. He also said he wanted to be able to speak with her, according to the officials. Siddiqui is in federal prison in Texas.