COLLEYVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Saturday marks one week since four people were taken hostage in Colleyville. The synagogue is still considered a crime scene and is off-limits to the public, but the ongoing investigation didn’t stop the congregation from continuing their services Saturday at Colleyville Town Hall.
“This morning, our goal, like every morning, the goal like every service is to pray,” Congregation Beth Israel Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker said.
Congregation Beth Israel live-streamed their Saturday service and people tuned in to offer their support just a week after the synagogue was taken hostage.
“Whether you are joining us in person or whether you are joining us online, we are grateful for your presence – on so many levels,” Cytron-Walker said. “It is good to be with you.”
This service is a step towards healing and normalcy.
At one-point Cytron-Walker joined the other three men held hostage for a prayer.
“At this time, I’d like to invite forward Larry and Shane and Jeff. My fellow survivors,” Cytron-Walker said.
Last Saturday, Malik Faisal Akram held the four inside during an armed standoff.
“I can honestly tell you as things were getting bad, it was really bad,” Cytron-Walker said during a press conference Friday. “I was absolutely in fear of my life.”
11 hours into the situation, the hostages made a run for the door at the same time a tactical team forced entry.
“I would not say it was complete coincidence,” FBI Dallas Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew DeSarno said. “What I would say is that we felt that we had pretty good situational awareness from my position with the negotiators and the other awareness tools.”
The FBI called the crime an act of terrorism and a hate crime. On Friday, they confirmed Akram wanted the release of a convicted terrorist from a Fort Worth prison.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Congregation Beth Israel showed the world their faith over fear.