A scene of panic unfolded at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston as a woman opened fire inside the premises on Sunday, leading to a fatal confrontation with off-duty officers.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner provided details of the incident at a press conference, revealing the tragic outcome.
Houston Police Chief Details Church Shooting Tragedy
According to Chief Finner, the woman, aged between 30 and 35, entered the church around 1:53 p.m. local time armed with a long rifle and accompanied by a 5-year-old boy.
Off-duty officers present at the scene swiftly intervened, engaging the woman and ultimately ending her life.
Tragically, the child was also struck by gunfire, sustaining critical injuries and requiring urgent medical attention.
Finner expressed remorse over the child’s condition, emphasizing the gravity of the situation. While the involvement of officers in the child’s injuries remains unclear, Finner underscored the woman’s responsibility for endangering the child’s life.
In addition to the child, a 57-year-old man was injured during the altercation, suffering a gunshot wound to the leg. Despite the chaos, law enforcement officials found no evidence of explosives despite the suspect’s claims of possessing a bomb.
Acknowledging the severity of the incident, Pastor Joel Osteen addressed the media, reflecting on the potential devastation had the shooting occurred during a crowded service. Osteen expressed gratitude for the swift response of law enforcement and emphasized the need for vigilance and security measures.
Lakewood Church Shooting Sparks Safety Reflection
The shooting at Lakewood Church occurred during a Spanish language service, highlighting the unpredictability of such events even in places of worship.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez noted that deputies from his department also serve part-time at the church, emphasizing the collaborative efforts in ensuring public safety.
As investigations into the motive behind the shooting continue, the community grapples with the shock and aftermath of the tragic incident. Despite the swift actions of law enforcement, the repercussions of the shooting serve as a stark reminder of the importance of security protocols and preparedness in public spaces.