Texas man charged with selling gun to synagogue hostage-taker

26 January 2022, 22:34

Britain US Texas Synagogue Standoff
Britain US Texas Synagogue Standoff. Picture: PA

Maisal Faisal Akram was shot dead by the FBI at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleysville.

A Texas man has been charged with selling a gun to the Briton who held four hostages inside a synagogue earlier this month before he was shot dead by the FBI.

Henry “Michael” Williams was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm after authorities say he sold the weapon that Maisal Faisal Akram used when he entered Congregation Beth Israel in Colleysville, Texas, on January 15 and held the rabbi and three others hostage for hours.

Akram, 44, originally from Blackburn, Lancashire, held the hostages in the Dallas-area suburb while demanding the release of a federal prisoner.

Texas Synagogue Standoff
The FBI shot dead the hostage-taker (Brandon Wade/AP)

The stand-off ended after more than 10 hours when the temple’s rabbi threw a chair at Akram and fled with the other two remaining hostages just as an FBI tactical team was moving in.

Williams has previously been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted possession of a controlled substance.

Prosecutors say Williams sold Akram a semi-automatic pistol on January 13 — two days before the hostage-taking. The pistol was recovered from the scene.

Williams initially told investigators one day after Akram was killed that he recalled meeting a man with a British accent but did not remember his name.

During a separate interview the following week, authorities said Williams was shown a photo of Akram and this time confirmed that he sold him the weapon at an intersection in south Dallas.

Williams told investigators that Akram said he intended to use the gun to intimidate someone who owed an outstanding debt, according to authorities.

Dallas police arrested Williams on an outstanding warrant on Monday, and he told federal investigators that he sold the gun to Akram after being read his rights, according to charging documents.

By Press Association

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