SWAT team involved in potential hostage situation at synagogue near Dallas-Fort Worth

SWAT team involved in potential hostage situation at synagogue near Dallas-Fort Worth
# 16 January 2022 01:43 (UTC +04:00)

Police in Colleyville, Texas, said they are "currently conducting SWAT operations" at a synagogue, prompting the evacuation of residents in the area on Saturday afternoon, .

Police arrived at 6100 Pleasant Run Road, where the Congregation Beth Israel is located, at about 12:30 p.m. local time.

At 1:20 and 2:20 p.m., Colleyville police said the situation "remains ongoing.

"We ask that you continue to avoid the area," police said.

On a Facebook livestream of the congregation’s Shabbat morning service, a man could be heard speaking, at times cursing and sounding angry. He also mentioned his sister.

The video, which has been taken down, did not show images of what was going on inside the building.

It’s unclear how many people were inside the building at the time of the incident or whether anyone was armed. No injuries have been reported so far.

A White House official told NBC News that they are “closely monitoring” the potential hostage situation in Colleyville, Texas.

Negotiators have been in contact with someone inside the synagogue who is a possible suspect, Colleyville Police Sgt. Dara Nelson told the Dallas Morning News.

"Negotiators have contact with this person and are working to come to a safe resolution,” Nelson said, adding that authorities have not been able to enter the building yet.

The FBI and Texas Department of Public Safety are also involved in the police response, Nelson said.

Following initial reports about the SWAT response that the synagogue, the American Jewish Committee said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the local Jewish community at this time."

"We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops," the organization tweeted.

Congregation Beth Israel began in 1998 as a chavurah or a small group of Jewish people who gather for prayer services, according to its website. The group officially established a synagogue in Colleyville in July 1999, and began services at its current location in 2005.

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