Man with English accent 'holds rabbi and congregation hostage' at Texas synagogue

·2-min read
Man with English accent 'holds rabbi and congregation hostage' at Texas synagogue
Man with English accent 'holds rabbi and congregation hostage' at Texas synagogue

A man with an English accent is said to be holding a rabbi and his congregation hostage at a US synagogue.

Police in Colleyville, Texas, surrounded Congregation Beth Israel and evacuated nearby residents.

Officers told people to avoid the area. The angry voice of a man with an English accent was heard through a live Facebook feed that was broadcasting the synagogue's sabbath service.

He appeared to be repeatedly demanding that negotiators "get my sister on the phone", as well as referring to spending time in England.

At one point he could be heard asking: "What the f--- is wrong with America?"

He was also heard to say "don't cry for me, I'm going to die" shortly before the livestream cut out.

It was not clear if the hostage taker had a weapon or what his demands were.

Authorities say a man has apparently taken hostages at the synagogue near Fort Worth
Authorities say a man has apparently taken hostages at the synagogue near Fort Worth

There were no reports of any shots fired or injuries. Colleyville Police said: "We are currently conducting SWAT operations around the 6100 block of Pleasant Run Rd. All residents in the immediate area are being evacuated. Please avoid the area."

Colleyville Police Sergeant Dara Nelson said it was unclear how many people were inside the building.

One worshipper wrote online: "Our little synagogue has a SWAT situation. Holding Rabbi hostage. Worshippers are still there for Shabbat services."

Congregation Beth Israel began in 1998 as a small group of worshippers who gathered for prayer services. It was officially established as a synagogue in 1999.

Services at its present location began in 2005. It is said to be the oldest Jewish congregation in Texas.

The alleged hostage taker was also heard talking about Islam an using profanities, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

He also reportedly said that he did not want to hurt anyone, and talked about his children, but also repeatedly said he believed he was going to die.

Over 8,000 people were reportedly watching the livestream.

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