HOUSTON - In light of the hostage standoff in Colleyville, Houston law enforcement officials are increasing patrols near synagogues and places of worship Saturday.
Houston Police and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office confirmed they are increasing security patrols out of extra precaution.
Authorities say four individuals were held hostage for several hours after a suspect barged in during a Shabbat service at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville.
A little after 6:15 p.m., one of the male hostages was released, uninjured. Negotiations continued for the other hostages, and just after 9 p.m., an FBI rescue team entered the synagogue and rescued the three other hostages. We're told the hostage-taker died as a result.
Sr Rabbi Brian Strauss of Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston spent the day communicating with his counterparts in the Dallas-Fort worth area who know some of the hostages.
"I’m originally from the Dallas area. I grew up in Dallas, so I know the synagogue. A lot of people are in prayer, a lot of people very worried, very nervous. They really feel for him and his members right now under the stress and the situation. People are just hoping for the best outcome right now," Rabbi Strauss said.
Rabbi Strauss is asking the community to unite in solidarity and pray for those affected.
"What I often find is these communities that are hit by terrorists, end up becoming stronger and more resilient, and end up doing even more good for the world. And I’ll tell you the best way to respond to darkness is to bring more light into the world," Strauss said.
Rabbi Strauss says his congregation is monitoring the Colleyville situation closely and will update their security measures accordingly.