Shooter in Trenchcoat Sparks Panic at Houston Megachurch

HOUSTON, TEXAS – A shooting incident occurred at the Lakewood Church during Sunday services, causing a panic among worshippers and resulting in injuries to a 5-year-old child and a 57-year-old man. The chaotic scene unfolded as the megachurch, led by celebrity pastor Joel Osteen, was preparing for its midday services, with two off-duty officers eventually confronting and fatally shooting the armed woman responsible.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner reported that the woman entered the church with the child before opening fire, leaving the child in critical condition and the man wounded in the hip. Both victims were rushed to the hospital for treatment, with the child in critical condition and the man in stable condition.

Finner further explained that the off-duty officers engaged the shooter after she began firing and unfortunately hit the 5-year-old child. However, details surrounding the confrontation were not immediately released.

The shooting, which disrupted the church’s weekly attendance of 45,000 people, took place between services. Despite the devastating incident, Osteen expressed gratitude that the situation did not occur during the larger 11 a.m. service. He emphasized the need to stay strong and continue providing hope and upliftment to others in the face of such evil forces.

Witnesses recounted hearing multiple gunshots before the Spanish language service was set to begin, causing panic and fear among those inside the church. Law enforcement and emergency vehicles swarmed the scene to prevent further harm and respond to the unfolding crisis, with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott offering condolences to those impacted by the tragic event.

As authorities evacuated the church, reports circulated concerning a possible bomb threat, leading to the search of the woman’s vehicle and backpack. No explosives were found, and a reunification center was established at a nearby gym for individuals to reconnect with their loved ones amidst the chaos.