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Woman shot and killed after she opens fire at Joel Osteen's megachurch, child and adult wounded

No additional information has been made available by officials.

Published: February 11, 2024 4:10pm

Updated: February 12, 2024 1:13am

A woman dressed in a trenchcoat and carrying a rifle opened fire at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston between services Sunday, before two off-duty police officers killed her, police said.

Police said a young child with the woman was critically hurt and another man nearby was wounded.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said the woman entered the church with a long gun and a backpack shortly before 2 p.m. on Sunday, accompanied by a child about 4 or 5 years old. He said the child was in critical condition after being taken to a hospital.

“She is deceased here on the scene,” Finner told a news conference.

“Unfortunately, the 5-year-old kid was hit and is in critical condition at a local hospital,” he added. “There was a 57-year-old man who didn’t have anything to do with it, I don’t think, who was shot in the leg. He’s seeking treatment in the hospital.”

Police said the woman mentioned that she may have a bomb, but no explosives were found.

Osteen thanked police for their response.

"We don't understand why all these things happened, but we know God's in control," the pastor said.

"We’re going to keep going strong and just, you know, doing what God's called us to do, lift people up and give hope to the world again," he added.

Houston police had responded to reports of a shooting at Osteen's church just before 2 p.m.

"The active scene is at Lakewood Church," the Houston Police Department wrote on X, formerly Twitter, in response to an earlier post the agency made about responding to reports of a shooting. 

About a half hour before the Houston Police Department said the scene was active, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said on X: "Info remains preliminary, as things remain dynamic. It is believed that a possible shooter is down, shot by one of our [deputies] on-scene. I’m enroute to the scene."

Lakewood Church said that there "is an active situation involving shots fired" at the church.

"Law enforcement is on the scene," the church said. "That is all the information we have at this time. Please pray for Lakewood and our community."

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

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