Three remaining hostages at a Texas synagogue were "out alive and safe," ending an ordeal that began hours earlier, according to a Twitter message late Saturday from Gov. Greg Abbott.

"Prayers answered," Abbott wrote. "All hostages are out alive and safe."

Not long before the governor's message, a loud bang and the sound of gunfire were heard at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, near Fort Worth, as authorities worked to free the hostages, The Associated Press reported.

"The subject is deceased," Colleyville police Chief Michael Miller told reporters at a news conference around 11:20 p.m. ET. The identity of the hostage taker was not being immediately released.

Miller said authorities didn't yet know why the suspect selected Congregation Beth Israel for the crime.

The FBI said the suspect was focused on a single issue not directly related to the Jewish community, The Associated Press reported.

Police vehicles are seen in Colleyville, Texas, Jan. 15, 2022, as authorities responded to reports of a man with a gun holding hostages at a synagogue.  (Getty Images)

More than 200 law enforcement officers had worked on the case Saturday, including hostage-situation negotiators, authorities added.

Just about two hours earlier, a single hostage had been freed, unharmed, giving authorities hope that the situation would end without a bloodshed.

Authorities and others were worried about a repeat of such tragedies as the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh in October 2018, where 11 people were killed, or the Poway, California, synagogue shooting near San Diego in 2019, where there was one fatality.

How it began

Many hours earlier, a Texas SWAT team had responded to Congregation Beth Israel after a suspect entered the house of worship and took hostages during services that were being live-streamed on the Internet.

The suspect was said to be a supporter of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist who was sentenced to 86 years in prison in 2010 for attempting to murder and assault U.S. military personnel and was being held at Federal Medical Center Carswell, at a prison in Fort Worth.

Siddiqui is also referred to as "Lady al Qaeda."

As the situation began, Colleyville police wrote on Twitter that all residents in the immediate area of the synagogue were being evacuated.


Police posted an additional update at 1:20 p.m. stating the situation was ongoing and advised people to avoid the area.

According to ABC News, the hostages included the rabbi of the synagogue. He was identified by the Dallas Morning News as Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker.

In a statement, Colleyville Police Department Sgt. Dara Nelson said the department received the first call at 10:41 a.m.

As the day progressed, Colleyville police, the FBI’s Dallas Field Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety, North Tarrant Regional SWAT Team, and other agencies responded to the scene.

Congregation Beth Israel, Colleyville, Texas. (Google Maps)


Law enforcement officials said no injuries were reported, and that FBI crisis negotiators had been in communication with the suspect throughout the ordeal.

The first hostage was released with no injuries shortly after 5 p.m. CT, according to Nelson.

"This man will be reunited with his family as soon as possible and he does not require medical attention," the sergeant said.

(FOX 4 Dallas)

Livestream: ‘I am going to die. OK?’

The congregation had a Facebook livestream up on its Facebook page for a service that had started three hours prior to the suspect's arrival.

The livestream was soon disabled, but not before a man could be heard repeatedly saying "I will die."

"I'm going to die at the end of this, alright? Are you listening? I am going to die. OK? So don't cry for me," the voice said.

Earlier in the livestream, the man, who was not visible, could be heard in what appeared to be a discussion with negotiators about "releasing" the people inside. 

A spokesperson for Meta, the parent company of Facebook, told Fox News Digital that the company ended the livestream and would also remove any content praising the incident.

"We are in contact with law enforcement as the situation continues to evolve," the spokesperson added.

(FOX 4 Dallas)

Cytron-Walker, the rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel, has been in his position since 2006, according to the congregation's website.

The synagogue describes itself as an "intimate, vibrant, growing Reform Jewish congregation that has a lot to offer in terms of religious, social, and educational opportunities for the youngest to our oldest members."

Reactions in DC and elsewhere

A White House official told Fox News that officials there were "closely monitoring" the situation.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said on Twitter that "out of an abundance of caution" the New York Police Department "has deployed additional resources to key Jewish locations around the city tonight."

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides tweeted about the incident.

"I am closely monitoring reports of the hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Texas, where the community is gathered for Shabbat services. Praying for an immediate and safe end."


(FOX 4 Dallas)

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also tweeted about the incident.

"I am closely monitoring the hostage situation taking place in Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. We pray for the safety of the hostages and rescuers."

Fox News' Pat Ward and Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.