COLLEYVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Jeffery Cohen, one of the four hostages held under arms in the Beth Israel Congregation in Colleyville on Saturday, January 15, spoke to CBS 11 about the long and frightening ordeal.
He and two others were detained for 11 hours before escaping on their own.
Another hostage had been allowed to leave earlier in the day.
“It was only later that he actually let us call our family. And I did at the time. I called my wife, I called my daughter, I called my son and very quickly left a Facebook message, ”Cohen said. ‘I generally did not think we would get out. So I wanted to say something. “
Cohen told CBS 11 that Rabbi Charlie Cytron Walker and two others with him planned to flee whenever they could.
Cohen said the hostage-taker, identified as Malik Faisal Akram, became very belligerent about 30 minutes before their escape.
He said that when they challenged him at some point, he withdrew, which was the key.
“He said he would shoot each of us and put a bullet in each of us,” Cohen said. “And that was the first time he said that. And then just a few moments later he said, ‘I want to make you fall to your knees, down on your knees. At that point, I stretched out in my chair, and I got up. and I know I stared straight at him. And I may have shaved my head like this. I do not remember. But I know I mouthed. No. And just that look was the first time we had shown anyone aggression against him. We were not submissive. At that time. He immediately started backing. And he went and sat down. Now I did not see him put his gun down. But I saw him go to pour soda on. And then “he did so, the Rabbi took the chair and threw it. I did not see the chair go until I ran.”
Cohen described the moment he saw his family for the first time after the ordeal.
“When we were later reunited at Colleyville Elementary School, and it’s after midnight, after we’re interrogated, the tears are flowing. The bodies are shaking.”
More on the way.