Hostages freed at Texas synagogue, suspect dead after reportedly demanding terrorist’s release

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced release: “Prayers answered. All hostages are out alive and safe.”

Updated: January 16, 2022 - 5:17pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced late Saturday that all four hostages had been freed after a tense 11-hour standoff at a Dallas-area Jewish synagogue with a man reportedly demanding that a female Islamist terrorist be released from prison.

“Prayers answered. All hostages are out alive and safe,” Abbott tweeted shortly before 11p.m. ET in announcing the end of the crisis in Colleyville, Texas.

As the drama unfolded into the evening, one male hostage was released unharmed, authorities said. The hostage taker told police he had a bag of bombs, according to news reports.

The other three hostages were free and safe a few hours later after news reports of a loud bang and gunshots.

U.S. Rep. Beth Van Duyne told a Star-Telegram reporter in a text that the hostage-taker was dead. Police confirmed the suspect died during an operation by a hostage rescue team.

“The HRT — hostage rescue team — breached the synagogue, they rescued the three hostages, the suspect is deceased," Colleyville Police Chief Michael Miller said.

Earlier, Colleyville Police Department Sgt. Dara Nelson told media that FBI negotiators "have contact with the person in the building," and that there is "no threat to the general public" at this time. 

"We are currently conducting SWAT operations around the 6100 block of Pleasant Run Rd," the police department told media in a statement. "All residents in the immediate area are being evacuated. Please avoid the area."

ABC News reported the suspect referred to a imprisoned terrorist, Aafia Siddiqui, as his sister and demanded that she be released from a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas.