Tragedy Strikes at Joel Osteen’s Megachurch: Woman Opens Fire, Leaving Child Critical
In a shocking incident at Joel Osteen’s megachurch in Texas, a woman clad in a trenchcoat entered the premises wielding a long gun, resulting in a chaotic scene during the busy Sunday services. The assailant, who had a 5-year-old boy with her, opened fire before being confronted and fatally shot by two off-duty officers.
The Houston church was thrown into chaos shortly before 2 p.m., with worshippers fleeing between services. The child accompanying the woman was critically injured in the gunfire, and a 57-year-old man sustained a gunshot wound. It remains unclear whether the off-duty officers’ return fire caused the injuries to the child and the man.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner addressed the media, highlighting the danger the woman posed, placing blame on her for endangering the child. The child is now in critical condition at a children’s hospital, while the man is stable with a hip wound.
The identity of the woman remains unknown, and her motive for the attack is yet to be determined. Chief Finner commended the officers for swiftly engaging the assailant, averting a potentially more devastating outcome. Both officers, assigned to security at the church, have been placed on administrative duty as per protocol.
Joel Osteen, the renowned pastor of the megachurch regularly attended by 45,000 people weekly, expressed devastation over the incident. He joined law enforcement at a news conference, emphasizing the potential severity had the shooting occurred during the earlier, larger service.
Joel Osteen speaking about the shooting at his Lakewood Church in Houston today. The shooter, a woman in her 30s, was killed by off-duty police officers.
— Gage Goulding – KPRC 2 (@GageGoulding) February 12, 2024
Witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots just before the 2 p.m. Spanish language service was scheduled to begin. Evacuees described scenes of panic and chaos inside the church as people sought safety.
Despite the tragedy, Osteen vowed to pray for the victims, the woman responsible for the shooting, and their families. Texas Governor Greg Abbott also offered condolences, stating, “our hearts are with those impacted by today’s tragic shooting.”
Authorities briefly investigated the possibility of explosives, as it was reported the woman had a bomb. However, no explosives were found during a search of her vehicle and backpack.
The incident marks a grim chapter in the history of Lakewood Church, which has grown significantly under Joel Osteen’s leadership over the past 25 years. As the community awaits further details, the church continues to be a source of support and hope in times of crisis.
🚨#BREAKING: Watch Moments when the active shooter began to fire shots at the Lakewood Church
Watch chilling footage of an active shooter incident during a live Spanish service broadcast. The suspect began firing multiple shots, resulting in a… pic.twitter.com/bfXGuSi436
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) February 11, 2024