Texas Synagogue Gunman Was Kicked Out of Nearby Mosque Before Hostage-Taking
US authorities continued to piece together the movements of the gunman who held four hostages at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue this past Saturday, as staff at a nearby mosque said he was kicked out of the center for “agitated” behavior just days before the attack.
Malik Faisal Akram had arrived at the Islamic Center of Irving, Texas to pray, and got angry when he was refused shelter for the night.
“He got a little agitated, saying, ‘you’re not helping out a fellow brother in the faith’ and all that stuff,” Khalid Hamideh, spokesman for the Islamic Center of Irving told a Dallas CBS affiliate on Tuesday. “When he did get agitated he was shown the door and left.”
The next day, the 44-year-old British citizen came back to the mosque, apologized for his behavior and asked for permission to pray, Hamideh elaborated to CNN on Wednesday.
“He had like a man purse with him and God knows if he had the gun with him already and thank God that he didn’t shoot anybody or do anything bad at our place,” Hamideh said. “I am shocked that he did not do something like this at our mosque because they said he was really agitated the first day.”
Akram was killed during the standoff on Saturday after the three remaining hostages escaped safely, hours after one had been released unharmed.
He arrived in New York at the end of December. On Jan. 2, he was reportedly dropped off by an unidentified person to stay the night at OurCalling, a homeless shelter in Dallas.
“He was dropped off by an individual, we saw him get out of a car, they had one on one conversations in the parking lot, but then they actually came into the building together and had conversations inside and then finally when the other guy departed they gave each other a hug,” Wayne Walker, OurCalling CEO, told CBS.
Between Jan. 6 and Jan. 13, Akram stayed three nights at Union Gospel Mission Dallas, according to the homeless shelter’s CEO Bruce Butler.
“We were a way station for him,” Butler said. “He had a plan. He was very quiet. He was in and out.”
According to the shelter’s records, Akram left the home shelter last Thursday before appearing on the following Saturday at the Congregation Beth Israel, reportedly seeking shelter to let himself into the synagogue.
On Wednesday, a US official revealed that Akram reportedly told family back in the UK that he was traveling to the US to find a bride.