(Patriot.Buzz) – In an alarming attack targeting faithful churchgoers, a dramatic shooting at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Texas resulted in two people injured and the death of the suspect.
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Police Chief Troy Finner revealed in a press briefing that the incident coincided with the scheduled start of the church’s Spanish service. The chief also disclosed that the shooter was a woman who entered the church armed with a long rifle, dressed in a trench coat and carrying a backpack, alongside a young child around 4 to 5 years old.
Upon opening fire off-duty officers present at the church responded and caused an exchange of gunfire that resulted in the suspect’s death at the scene.
Among the injured were a 57-year-old man who sustained a gunshot wound to his leg and the child who accompanied the shooter, now in critical condition.
Finner also noted the suspect’s bomb threat made after she was incapacitated. “Once she went down, officers reported back to us that she threatened that she had a bomb,” he said. Although she had been spraying an unidentified substance on the ground, a search of her vehicle and backpack by the bomb squad found no explosives.
Authorities are treating the shooting as an isolated incident with no ongoing threat to the public anticipated.
Lakewood Church confirmed the shooting through a social media post on X and requested prayers for the congregation and the wider community.
Senior Pastor Joel Osteen expressed his devastation over the event and conveyed his trust in divine control despite the circumstances. “We’re going to continue to move forward. There are forces of evil, but the forces that are for us, the forces of God, are stronger than that,” Osteen stated and committed to uplift and provide hope to the community.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez initially informed the public about the shooter’s status and clarified that the shots were fired by officers from other agencies, not Harris County deputies.
Following reports of gunfire at Lakewood Church Gonzalez directed those with missing family members towards a reunification center at Life Time Fitness gym in Greenway Plaza.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott labeled the incident as “tragic” in a statement, emphasized the sanctity of places of worship and extended condolences to the Lakewood Church community and those affected.
The shooting at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church today…. A good guy with a gun stopped a bad woman today. Praying for the families involved. pic.twitter.com/Pf7TRMJ8Re
— James Owen (@realjamesowen1) February 11, 2024