Jeffrey Cohen, one of four hostages held by a gunman for eleven hours at a Reform synagogue in Colleyville, Texas on Saturday, told CBS News’ Dallas affiliate “I did not think we would get out.” (Watch interview above)

Cohen said his captor, Malik Faisal Akram, was relatively “calm” during the ordeal until the last half hour.

“He said he was going to shoot each of us, put a bullet in each of us,” Cohen said. “That was the first time that he said that. And then just a few moments later, he said, ‘I’m gonna make you get down on your knees, get down on your knees.'”

Cohen said Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker threw a chair to distract Akram, allowing the hostages to exit the building. An FBI team then killed Akram.

Cohen objected to the characterization that he and his fellow hostages were “rescued.”

“No. We escaped,” Cohen said.

The New York Times reports:

The rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker, has been called heroic for his cool head and the decisive leadership that led to the dramatic escape …

But by his own account on Monday, and that of another hostage, Jeffrey Cohen, it was years of security training, prompted by threats to synagogues, that allowed them to escape.

In an interview, Rabbi Cytron-Walker said he had taken part in at least four separate trainings in recent years, from the Colleyville Police Department, the F.B.I., the Anti-Defamation League and the Secure Community Network, a nonprofit group that provides security resources to Jewish institutions nationally.

The sessions taught him that “if you get in this situation, you have to do whatever you can,” he said. “It gave me the courage and the sensibility to act when we were able.”