Hostage situation at Texas synagogue

By Adrienne Vogt, Meg Wagner, Jessie Yeung and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 1:26 a.m. ET, January 16, 2022
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11:23 p.m. ET, January 15, 2022

The suspect is dead, police confirm

The suspect in the hostage situation is dead, Colleyville police confirmed at a news conference on Saturday night after all hostages were rescued safely.

"Around 9 p.m., the HRT — hostage rescue team — breached the synagogue, they rescued the three hostages, the suspect is deceased," said Colleyville Police Chief Michael Miller.
11:20 p.m. ET, January 15, 2022

Here's the latest on the situation

The hostage situation in a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, is over, according to Texas authorities.

In a statement at 9:55 p.m. local time (10:55 p.m. ET), Colleyville police confirmed the situation was "resolved," adding they were working with the FBI to "finalize all details."

Here's the latest:

  • All hostages are out and safe, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. A rabbi is believed to be among the four people who had been held hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel. One hostage was safely released by the suspect earlier this evening.
  • The operation: About 20 minutes before Abbott said the hostages were out, a CNN team on the ground heard a loud bang, and a short blast of rapid gunfire from the direction of the synagogue.
  • The suspect: The status of the suspect is unclear. Investigators believe he may have been motivated by a desire to free Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence in federal prison on charges of attempting to kill US service members.
  • News conference incoming: Officials will soon host a news conference, where more details are expected.
11:08 p.m. ET, January 15, 2022

Officials will host a news conference soon

From CNN's Ashley Killough and Ed Lavandera 

Officials will give a news conference at 11:15 p.m. ET following the successful hostage rescue, according to a spokesperson from the Colleyville police.

We'll be watching and providing live updates here.

10:39 p.m. ET, January 15, 2022

BREAKING: All hostages are out and safe, Texas governor says

All hostages held in the Congregation Beth Israel are out and safe, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a tweet. No other details on their release were included.

10:33 p.m. ET, January 15, 2022

BREAKING: Loud bang heard, followed by a short blast of gunfire from direction of the synagogue

From CNN’s Ed Lavandera and Ashely Killough

A CNN team in Colleyville heard a loud bang, followed by a short blast of rapid gunfire coming from the direction of the Colleyville synagogue.

CNN journalists Ed Lavandera and Ashley Killough are about a third of a mile from the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue where the hostages are being held.

10:11 p.m. ET, January 15, 2022

Metro Police in Washington, DC are stepping up patrols around places of worship

From CNN's Tina Burnside 

The Metro Police Department in Washington, DC is stepping up patrols at synagogues in the area, in light of the ongoing hostage situation in Texas.

In a statement to CNN, Kristen Metzger, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department, said that while there are currently no credible threats in the capital, MPD will have an increased visibility around places of worship. 

"We urge our community to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behavior by using the iWatch suspicious activity reporting tool," Metzer said. 
9:36 p.m. ET, January 15, 2022

The suspect is not Aafia Siddiqui's brother, her attorney says

From CNN’s Katelyn Polantz

The attorney representing Aafia Siddiqui, the woman whose case investigators believe could be a motivating factor for the hostage taker, urged the suspect to release the hostages in a statement on Saturday.

"We strongly condemn the hostage-taking at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX," said Marwa Elbially in a statement. "We implore the hostage taker to immediately release all hostages and turn himself in."

"We want to verify that the perpetrator is NOT Dr. Aafia's brother who is a respected architect and member of the community. Whoever the assailant is, we want him to know that his actions are condemned by Dr. Aafia and her family," the statement added, calling the suspect's actions "heinous and wrong."

More on this: Two law enforcement officials earlier told CNN that the man who took hostages at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville appeared to be motivated by a desire to free Siddiqui.

She is serving an 86-year sentence at a federal prison in Fort Worth after being found guilty of seven charges relating to a terror interrogation in Afghanistan. Siddiqui was accused of stealing a US Army soldier’s rifle and firing on members of the American interrogation team, who were not hit. The judge in her US trial ruled that a terrorism enhancement applied to her sentence.

Siddiqui’s appeals are exhausted, according to Elbially, who has petitioned that her client either be pardoned or allowed to serve the remainder of her sentence in her home country of Pakistan. Elbially says she has not been able to speak to Siddiqui since the Texas hostage situation began.

8:57 p.m. ET, January 15, 2022

Dallas synagogues and Jewish organizations activated security protocols after hostages taken

From CNN's Tina Burnside

The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas immediately notified synagogues, Jewish organizations, and agencies within the Dallas-Fort Worth area, calling for them to activate security protocols after four people were taken hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville Saturday afternoon, according to a statement from the organization. 

The federation said their Community Security Initiative has been working with local police and the FBI from the start of the incident, offering assistance and support.

"We continue to pray for those currently held at Congregation Beth Israel, their families, and all congregants," the statement read.
8:38 p.m. ET, January 15, 2022

Texas governor on the release of one hostage: "Prayers are being answered"

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted about the release of one of the four people who were taken hostages at a Colleyville synagogue.

"Prayers are being answered," he tweeted, along with a statement from police on the release of one of the hostages. "3 more to go."

Earlier today, Abbott said he is closely monitoring the situation in Colleyville. 

"The Texas Dept. of Public Safety is on the scene of the tense hostage situation in Colleyville, Texas. They are working with local and federal teams to achieve the best and safest outcome," the governor tweeted.