A shooting incident was reported at Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in southwest Houston Sunday afternoon. Chaos ensued as the 2 p.m. Spanish-speaking service began. According to a witness speaking to Eyewitness News, multiple gunshots were heard from the choir room.
“The entire congregation began to pray and invoke the name of Jesus,” the witness shared with the outlet. “I thought to myself, ‘This might be my last opportunity to pray and glorify the name of Jesus, so I’m going to seize it.'”
During a news conference, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said a woman, estimated to be between 30 and 35 years old, entered the church shortly before 2 p.m., armed with a long rifle and accompanied by a 5-year-old boy.
The boy was struck, and a 57-year-old man was shot in the leg during the incident. The woman was eventually shot by officers.
“Both officers … engaged, striking the female,” Finner said. “She’s deceased here on the scene. Unfortunately, a 5-year-old kid was hit and is in critical condition at our local hospital.”
Although the female suspect claimed to have a bomb, no explosives were discovered by the officers on the scene, Chief Finner informed the media.
“She had a long gun and it could’ve been a lot worse,” Finner added.
Pastor Joel Osteen also addressed the press, noting that the incident occurred between services at the megachurch.
“I can only imagine what would have happened if this happened during the 11:00 service,” Osteen said. “She could have done much worse damage.”