Houston, Texas – A woman opened fire inside the megachurch of pastor Joel Osteen on Sunday, claiming she had a bomb before being killed by off-duty officers. The incident left a young child hospitalized in critical condition after being struck by gunfire.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner stated that the woman’s motive for the attack was not immediately clear. The shooting took place around the time the Spanish language church service was scheduled to start, and the woman, described as being 30-to-35 years old, entered the church carrying a long rifle, wearing a trench coat, and carrying a backpack.
Witnesses reported that the woman claimed to have a bomb in her backpack and was spraying an unknown substance on the church’s grounds. She was accompanied by a 4-to-5-year-old boy, although the nature of their relationship was not immediately clear.
Lakewood Church, founded by Joel and Delores Osteen, is among the largest congregations in the country, averaging about 45,000 attendees per week, according to its website.
The young child struck by gunfire and a 57-year-old man, who was being treated for a hip injury after being shot in the leg, were both hospitalized. Despite the heavy law enforcement presence and immediate response to the attack, the motive for the shooting remains unclear, and investigators believe it was an isolated incident.
Governor Greg Abbot issued a statement expressing support for the community impacted by the shooting and offered the full support and resources of the State of Texas to help bring swift justice to the criminal who committed the act. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez stated that it is believed a Harris County deputy shot the attacker.
Please pray for Lakewood and our community. Mayor Whitmire and offered the full support and resources of the State of Texas, including the Department of Public Safety officers and Texas Rangers, joined Cecilia and me in praying for this community during this difficult time and for the brave men and women in blue who acted quickly to respond to this tragedy. A statement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbot
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez stated that a Harris County deputy shot the attacker.
The incident brings into focus the safety and security measures at houses of worship, highlighting the need for swift justice and strong support for the community.