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Two Dallas homeless shelters housed Malik Faisal Akram before he took hostages Saturday

Black-bearded man with right hand on his beard.
Our Calling
Malik Faisal Akram, the hostage-taker, checking into Dallas' Our Calling shelter Jan. 2. Our Calling's CEO and founder, Wayne Walker, called Akram "a wolf in sheep's clothing."

Dallas nonprofit Our Calling was one of two organizations that sheltered Malik Faisal Akram in January. More than a week later, it realized Akram was the hostage-taker at the center of the Colleyville crisis.

Previous to making international headlines Saturday, two Dallas shelters — Our Calling and Union Gospel Mission — hosted the man who took hostages at Colleyville’s Congregation Beth Israel synagogue.

Wayne Walker, CEO and founder of Our Calling, says his organization hosted Malik Faisal Akram just one night, on Jan. 2. It was freezing, and the organization opened its doors to all seeking shelter. Walker said the organization expected more than the usual number of people seeking shelter because of the cold.

“This gentleman came in about 10 o'clock at night and he went through the same normal process as anybody else,” Walker said. “He got a COVID test and we took a photo and went through some intake questions with him, and then he stayed the night at our facility. However, what made it more interesting is how he got to our facility.”

Walker says another man drove Akram to the shelter. They appeared friendly — like they knew each other. That made Walker wonder if Akram may have had an accomplice.

“Usually, there's not anybody who brings someone inside,” noted Walker, “and kind of introduces them and has a conversation and a hug goodbye. You know, it's outside the norm.”

Our Calling shared all this information, pictures, and video with the FBI once it realized it had hosted the hostage-taker. The incident also reinforced to Walker what dangers can lurk in shelters like his. It’s why he says there’s always security.

“We have armed, former law enforcement, highly trained in our facility," Walker said. “It's because there are wolves in sheep's clothing that tried to hide within the vulnerable community. Our security is there to protect the homeless from those predators.”

Walker's “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” was Malik Faisal Akram, who died Saturday night at the hands of the FBI. Those he’d held hostage in Colleyville’s Beth Israel synagogue all day emerged free and physically unharmed.

After Akram left Our Calling, he stayed three nights in Dallas’ Union Gospel Mission shelter, according to the Dallas Morning News

The FBI’s investigation into the weekend hostage crisis continues on a global scale.

Got a tip? Email Reporter Bill Zeeble at You can follow him on Twitter @bzeeble.

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Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.