Possible shooting at Texas megachurch led by Joel Osteen| Trending Viral hub


By JUAN A. LOZANO (Associated Press)

HOUSTON (AP) — A woman in a trench coat walked into famed pastor Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch and started shooting Sunday afternoon and was killed by two off-duty security officers, police said. They added that a small child who was with the woman was seriously injured and another man nearby was injured.

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

The shooting occurred between services at the megachurch that is regularly attended by 45,000 people each week, making it the third-largest megachurch in the United States, according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. Osteen’s televised sermons reach about 100 countries.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, “Our hearts go out to those affected by today’s tragic shooting and to the entire Lakewood Church community in Houston. Places of worship are sacred.”

“He had a long gun and it could have been a lot worse,” Finner said at the news conference.

Osteen said the shooting could have been much worse if it had occurred during the larger 11 a.m. service.

“We are devastated,” he said, adding that he would pray for the victims and their families.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas sheriff said Sunday that a shooter is down after a shooting at famed pastor Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch Sunday afternoon.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez did not immediately provide further details in his post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. Lakewood Church had previously posted on social media that there was an “active situation involving gunshots” at one of the largest megachurches in the U.S. during its typically busy Sunday services.

Police and other law enforcement agencies scheduled a news conference for later. A heavy police presence surrounded the Houston megachurch.

Worshipers could be seen leaving the building as authorities evacuated the church, and authorities said they continued to methodically search the building as a precaution. About 45,000 people attend weekly services in Lakewood, making it the third-largest megachurch in the United States, according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. Osteen’s televised sermons reach about 100 countries.

Previously, Lakewood Church posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, shortly after that there was an “active situation involving shots fired” at the church.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, “Our hearts go out to those affected by today’s tragic shooting and to the entire Lakewood Church community in Houston. Places of worship are sacred.”

Witnesses told reporters they heard multiple gunshots around the time the church’s 2 p.m. Spanish service was scheduled to begin.

Christina Rodriguez, who was inside the church, told Houston television station KTRK that she “started yelling, ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,'” and then she and others ran to the back of a library inside the building and then they stopped. a staircase before being told it was safe to leave.

People remained outside the building as authorities evacuated the church. Authorities later announced that a reunification center had been set up at a nearby gym for people to find their loved ones.


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