Houston, Texas – A tragic incident unfolded at the Lakewood Church on Sunday, when a woman opened fire, resulting in one fatality and injuries to a man and a 5-year-old child. The church, led by pastor Joel Osteen, was preparing for a 2 p.m. Spanish service when the violence erupted.
The woman, armed with a long rifle, entered the church with a young boy and opened fire, prompting two off-duty law enforcement officers to engage and ultimately strike her. Despite the swift response, the child sustained critical injuries, and a 57-year-old man, who was not believed to be connected to the incident, was also wounded.
While the child’s relationship to the shooter remains unclear, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner praised the officers for preventing further harm. He also revealed that the woman had claimed to have a bomb, although no explosives were found in her possession.
The identity of the shooter, described as a woman aged 30-35, has not been disclosed, as an investigation into the shooting gets underway. Both law enforcement officers involved will be placed on administrative leave during the probe.
During a news conference, Pastor Joel Osteen expressed gratitude that the incident occurred in between services, likely minimizing the extent of potential harm. Houston Mayor John Whitmire lamented the violence, emphasizing the sanctity of places of worship. Texas Governor Greg Abbott also offered condolences and assured swift justice for the perpetrator.
Eyewitnesses inside the church reported hearing multiple shots, with one individual recounting hearing 20 to 30 gunshots. The White House is closely monitoring the situation and gathering more information on the shooting.