A convicted felon was sentenced to eight years in prison this week for selling a pistol to a British man who took four people hostage at a Dallas-area synagogue earlier this year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas announced.
Henry “Michael” Dwight Williams, 33, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm in June. He has previous convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted possession of a controlled substance.
“This defendant, a convicted felon, had no business carrying – much less buying and selling – firearms,” U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham said in a statement. “Whether he suspected his buyer would use the gun to menace a community of faith is legally irrelevant: In the U.S., convicted felons cannot possess firearms.”
Williams sold a Taurus G2C pistol to Malik Faisal Akram at an intersection in south Dallas on Jan. 13, just two days before Akram entered Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville and held four people hostage for several hours.
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The standoff ended at about 9 p.m. on Jan. 15 when Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker threw a chair at Akram, and the hostages fled the temple.
A team of FBI agents rushed in while the hostages were fleeing and fatally shot Akram.
Matt DeSarno, the FBI’s special agent in charge in Dallas, said in the days after the attack that it “was committed by a terrorist espousing an antisemitic worldview.”
Akram reportedly demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman who is serving an 86-year sentence at a prison in nearby Fort Worth for shooting at American service members while being detained in Afghanistan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.