Texas Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and hostages were the heroes
After a disturbed gunman took hostages in a Jewish synagogue in suburban Dallas on Saturday, media reports indicated that the FBI had freed the Rabbi and the hostages and had killed the man who held them prisoners.
However, the Rabbi who let the man into the synagogue out of kindness, revealed that he and the other had escaped on their own, not because the gunman had freed them or because law enforcement had enabled them to escape.
The “FBI freed them” narrative obviously came from law enforcement, and the media obsequiously reported it as such.
On Monday, the Rabbi explained what had happened.
This is what occurred based on the Rabbi’s recounting of the situation,
The Texas rabbi held hostage on Saturday said that he and the other two remaining hostages escaped by throwing a chair at the gunman and then fleeing the synagogue where they had been held for 11 hours.
Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker credited security training with the successful escape — which involved whispered instructions, edging closer to the door and talking with the gunman, who was agitated and ranting.
Ruth Graham, “Texas Rabbi recounts dramatic escape
from Synagogue,” New York Times, January 17, 2022
Allowed the gunman in because of kindness
As the Rabbi explained, he let the man into the Synagogue for the services out of kindness,
The rabbi said he first suspected something was amiss about the visitor to his synagogue on Saturday morning when he heard a “click.”
He had let the stranger in to Congregation Beth Israel of Colleyville, in the suburbs of Fort Worth, before Shabbat services that morning. The man didn’t seem nervous, the rabbi said in an interview on Monday. He said he thought the man was just coming in to the synagogue to get warm on an unusually cold day in North Texas, so he made the man some hot tea.
The man was Malik Faisal Akram, and had traveled from England to New York just before New Year’s Day, the authorities said Sunday. A few weeks later, he walked into the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue and began a hostage situation that ended with the congregants’ dramatic escape, gunfire and Mr. Akram’s death.
Mr. Akram sat quietly as the prayer service began, the rabbi said. In-person attendance was sparse, with just three other congregants present, the rabbi leading services at the front of the sanctuary, and others watching a livestream on Facebook from their homes. About 30 or 40 minutes into the service, the rabbi turned his back to the congregation to face Jerusalem as he prayed. That’s when he heard the click.
Ruth Graham, “New York Times, January 17, 2022
The events dragged on through the day with SWAT teams and law enforcement outside, but nothing occurred until late,
As the negotiations dragged on, Rabbi Cytron-Walker was looking for an opportunity to escape. By around 9 p.m., the three hostages were all fairly close to an exit and were poised to run “if the opportunity arose,” the rabbi said. “There was a real immediacy.”
[Synagogue Vice-President Jeffrey] Cohen wrote that he was prepared to wrap his prayer shawl around Mr. Akram’s neck or his shooting hand, but he did not get the chance. He was not armed, he wrote, but even if he had been, he was not confident that he could have been able to draw a weapon and fire before Mr. Akram fired.
Mr. Cohen wrote that finally, Mr. Akram instructed the hostages to get on their knees. “I reared up in my chair, stared at him sternly,” he wrote. “I think I slowly moved my head and mouthed ‘no’.”
At that moment, Rabbi Cytron-Walker told the men to run, threw a chair at Mr. Akram, and bolted for the exit himself. SWAT officers received them and ushered them to safety. Law enforcement then entered the building.
“We escaped,” Mr. Cohen wrote in his account on Facebook. “We weren’t released or freed.”
Ruth Graham, New York Times, January 17, 2022
So, the heroes were the hostages themselves who saved their own lives, not anybody from the outside.
That is a tremendous story of courage, but I doubt that the media will pick up on that.
Law enforcement did killed the gunman after the hostages themselves escaped.