The mayor of Colleyville called a gunman who authorities say held four people hostage at Congregation Beth Israel a “single delusional individual” who was driven by “hate.”
Mayor Richard Newton told Colleyville residents that he was “saddened” that the incident took place in his North Texas city.
“It angers me to the core,” Newton said in a video posted late Saturday on Colleyville’s government Facebook page. “We will heal, but it will take time.”
Akram died when law enforcement breached the building after the hostages made it out of the Colleyville synagogue Saturday night, according to the FBI.
Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker was among those taken hostage.
Newton said the rabbi is a friend of his and a leader in the city. His congregation along with a Colleyville mosque helped create the city’s “Peace Together Walk.”
In the walk, groups walk together praying for Colleyville and fostering unity.
“Congregation Beth Israel is a wonderful house of worship,” the mayor said in the video. “And a valuable member of Colleyville Ministerial Alliance. I’m so relived that rabbi and the hostages are safe.”
Newton said “evil” came to Colleyville on Saturday.
“I speak for our community and all of its leaders when I say that we unequivocally denounce hate and violence in any form,” the mayor said. “It has no place in our city.”
The mayor said the city will move forward.
“Please love one another, please put the needs of others before your own,” Newton said. “I call on all our citizens to pray for all the people involved in this tragic incident.”
For those Colleyville residents who may need help with what happened Saturday at Congregation Beth Israel, the mayor encouraged citizens to call the City Manager’s Office at 817-503-1111.