Texas Synagogue Held Hostage During Livestreamed Service


Authorities northeast of Fort Worth are negotiating with a man who has apparently taken people hostage at a Colleyville synagogue during services.

It is unclear if anyone is injured and how the man may be armed. The service was being live-streamed on Facebook, and the live recording, which has since been taken down, captured muffled audio of what sounded like negotiations with police.

Colleyville police said they are conducting SWAT operations in the 6100 block of Pleasant Run Road, the location of Congregation Beth Israel.

All residents in the immediate area are being evacuated, and people are asked to avoid the area. Commenters on a Facebook live stream of the service at the synagogue said a man there is holding people hostage.

An angry man could be heard ranting on the live stream, at times talking about religion. The video did not show what is happening in the building.

The man has repeatedly mentioned his sister and Islam and used profanities. At one point, another voice can be heard apparently talking on the phone to the police.

The man has said a few times he didn’t want anyone hurt, and he has mentioned his children. He also said repeatedly he believes he is going to die.

It’s unclear how many people are in the synagogue. Commenters on the live stream are offering prayers for Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker. More than 8,000 viewers were watching the Livestream.

Shabbat morning service began at 10 a.m. Saturday, according to the synagogue’s calendar.

Colleyville is about 17 miles northeast of downtown Fort Worth.