Suspect Dead After FBI Storm Texas Synagogue, Freeing Hostages
The hostage-taker reportedly demanded the release of a Pakistani woman convicted of attempting to kill US military personnel
All four people who were held hostage at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas on Saturday are “alive” and “safe,” the authorities said as media reported gunfire and sounds resembling that of an explosion at the scene.
Though one male hostage had been released unharmed earlier on Saturday, the three remaining hostages were not able to leave until an FBI rescue team which had flown in from Quantico, Virginia stormed the building following a 12-hour standoff with the suspect.
Shortly after CNN reported that “a loud bang, followed by a short blast of rapid gunfire” came from the synagogue, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that all of the hostages were now “out alive and safe.”
Colleyville Chief of Police Michael Miller confirmed that the suspect was “deceased” at a press conference late on Saturday. Noting that the man did not harm hostages “in any way,” Miller refused to identify him.
“We have identified the subject but we are not prepared to release his identity or confirm his identity at this time,” he added.
The suspect at one point had reportedly threatened to kill the hostages if anyone entered the building and said he had planted bombs in several locations. However, he also reportedly said he did not want to hurt anyone, and subsequently let one of the hostages escape unscathed.
His negotiations with law enforcement were partially broadcast live on Facebook.
Miller said that although there is no ongoing threat to the synagogue, bomb squads were deployed to the scene to clear it of any potential explosives.