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Two injured as gunfire erupts at Joel Osteen’s church


Two injured as gunfire erupts at Joel Osteen's church

A woman opened fire inside Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, on Sunday, leading to a confrontation with off-duty officers, resulting in her death according to AP news.

The incident reportedly occurred shortly before the church’s 2 p.m as the Spanish service was scheduled to begin.

Two other individuals were shot and injured, including a 5-year-old boy in critical condition and a man in his 50s with a hip wound.

The Lakewood Church, a megachurch with a 16,000-person capacity, was a former arena for the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

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The woman entered the church with the boy, who was later injured in the shootout.

Police have not released the woman’s identity, and details of the confrontation, including a possible motive and the relationship between the woman and the boy, remain unclear.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner stated, “That female, that suspect, put that baby in danger. I’m going to put that blame on her.”

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The 5-year-old boy is in critical condition, and the man is stable at a different hospital.

The shooting occurred between services at the megachurch, regularly attended by 45,000 people weekly, making it the third-largest megachurch in the U.S.

Osteen mentioned that the situation could have been much worse if it happened during the earlier, larger 11 a.m. service.

Witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots, prompting panic and evacuation. Two off-duty officers engaged the shooter, preventing a potentially more significant tragedy. The woman, after being shot, claimed to have a bomb, but no explosives were found.

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Osteen expressed devastation over the incident and pledged to pray for the victims and the woman who carried out the shooting.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement expressing condolences to those impacted by the tragic event.

The church, under Joel Osteen’s leadership since 1999, has grown significantly, with millions of followers worldwide through televised sermons.