Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker

Rabbi threw chair at Texas synagogue hostage-taker before escaping

Rabbi Cytron-Walker says gunman was let in willingly before he took the six people inside hostage, says he drew on FBI hostage training when determining if and when to try to escape

Reuters |
Published: 01.17.22, 22:42
A rabbi who was among four Jewish congregants taken captive at a Dallas-area synagogue said on Monday that he and others managed to escape after he threw a chair at the hostage-taker and then rushed for an exit door.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • The ten-hour siege Saturday at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, west of Dallas, Texas, ended in gunfire with all four hostages released and the suspect dead as members of an FBI hostage rescue team entered the synagogue.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    צ'רלי סייטרון-ווקר, רב בית הכנסת בטקסס
    צ'רלי סייטרון-ווקר, רב בית הכנסת בטקסס
    Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker
    The suspect, identified by the FBI as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram, knocked on the synagogue's door during Sabbath prayers and was invited in and offered tea, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who was among those taken captive, told CBS.
    Cytron-Walker then returned to prayer, after which he said he "heard a click - and it could have been anything - but it turned out it was his gun."
    One hostage was released unharmed after six hours of tense negotiations conducted with help from Akram's family.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    ית כנסת קוליוויל טקסס יום אחרי משבר בני הערובה
    ית כנסת קוליוויל טקסס יום אחרי משבר בני הערובה
    Police outside Congregation Beth Israel synagogue during Saturday's armed standoff, January 15, 2022
    (Photo: AP)
    Still held captive with two others, Cytron-Walker said he drew on hostage training from the FBI when determining if and when to try to escape.
    "When I saw an opportunity where he wasn't in a good position, I made sure that the two gentlemen who were still with me, that they were ready to go, (and that) the exit wasn't too far away," Cytron-Walker said.
    "I 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."
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Sign near Beth Israel synagogue after hostage taking on Saturday
    Sign near Beth Israel synagogue after hostage taking on Saturday
    Congregation Beth Israel synagogue
    (Photo: EPA)
    The FBI's hostage rescue team then raided the synagogue, leading to Akram's death. It is not clear whether the gunman took his own life or was killed by members of the FBI team.
    Police in England say they have detained two teenagers for questioning in connection with the case.
    Talkbacks for this article 0