Texan Charged for Selling Gun to Man Who Held Hostages at Synagogue

A man in Texas has been charged with federal firearm crimes in relation to the recent synagogue hostage. The U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of Texas said that the man allegedly sold a pistol to Malik Faisal Akram, who used the gun in order to kidnap the hostages in the synagogue earlier in January. 

The law states it is illegal for convicted felons to acquire or possess firearms. The accused, Henry “Michael” Williams, had previously been convicted of other crimes, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Therefore, Williams was not allowed to own the gun that he allegedly sold to Akram.

On January 15, Akram held four members of the synagogue congregation in Colleyville, Texas, hostage at gunpoint. The hostage situation lasted for hours and eventually led to the hostages escaping and Akram dying. 

Akram was a British citizen, who traveled to the United States on December 29, 2021, and made his way to Texas over the next couple of weeks.

He entered the country through the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and was on a U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Therefore, his entrance into the country was approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization, popularly shortened to the term “ESTA.” As a British citizen, he was not required to have a specific tourist visa. 

Those investigating the case said that Williams recalled that he met a man with a British accent, who prosecutors believe to be Akram. He sold the man a semiautomatic pistol two days before the holdup, on January 13. 

After Williams was shown photos of Akron, he confirmed that he sold the gun to the man in South Dallas. 

The FBI Field Office in Dallas, alongside its law enforcement partners, had been working since the hostage situation to determine how Akram acquired the weapon. 

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