ImageSWAT crew members close to Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, on Saturday.Credit…Andy Jacobsohn/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Heavily armed law enforcement officials and F.B.I. negotiators surrounded a synagogue Saturday within the Dallas-Fort Worth space, the place a person who was inside had taken the rabbi and probably two others hostage, in accordance with a federal regulation enforcement official who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate an ongoing investigation.
It wasn’t clear why the hostages have been taken at Congregation Beth Israel, a Reform synagogue in Colleyville, Texas.
The congregation had been holding a scheduled Sabbath service at 10 a.m. It was being dwell streamed on its Facebook web page when, the police stated, they have been known as at about 10:41 a.m.
On the livestream, a person could possibly be heard shouting about dying and never liking law enforcement officials, though the context was not clear as a result of the stream was inaudible at instances. A video of the livestream didn’t present what was happening contained in the synagogue.
The man may be heard asking to get his sister on the cellphone earlier than the livestream stopped.
“It’s a deal,” he stated at one level. “It’s a deal I had with you.”
The Colleyville police stated that F.B.I. disaster negotiators have been in communication with the person. One male hostage was launched at about 5 p.m., the police stated. He was unhurt.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, stated President Biden had been briefed on “the developing hostage situation” in Colleyville, a metropolis of about 26,000 residents that’s about 15 miles northeast of Fort Worth.
“He will continue to receive updates from his senior team as the situation develops,” Ms. Psaki stated on Twitter. “Senior members of the national security team are also in touch with federal law enforcement leadership.”
Gov. Greg Abbott stated the Texas Department of Public Safety was additionally on the scene of what he described as a “tense hostage situation.”
“They are working with local and federal teams to achieve the best and safest outcome,” Mr. Abbott said.
Katie Chaumont, an F.B.I. spokeswoman, stated that close by residents had been evacuated. She declined to say if the person was armed.
Eugene Posnock, a member of the synagogue, stated that she and others members had been following the service on Zoom when the person entered the sanctuary, disrupting prayers.
She stated all she heard was yelling within the background earlier than the connection was misplaced.
“We are very, very upset,” Ms. Posnock stated. “We are hoping for the best.”
The Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, stated he was “closely monitoring” the standoff.
“We pray for the safety of the hostages and rescuers,” Mr. Bennett stated on Twitter.
U.S. Representative Colin Allred of Texas stated he was praying for the congregants in Colleyville.
“No one should have to fear something like this may happen in their place of worship,” he stated on Twitter.
The Fort Worth police stated officers had stepped up patrols round synagogues within the metropolis in response to the hostage scenario.
Adam Goldman contributed reporting.