Houston, TX – A shooting took place at the Lakewood Church in Houston on Sunday, February 11, 2024. The incident occurred during a busy Sunday service and prompted the evacuation of worshippers.
According to authorities, a woman with a long gun entered the church with a 5-year-old boy. The child was critically injured in the shooting, along with a 57-year-old man who was also wounded. Following the shooting, two off-duty officers engaged the woman and subsequently shot and killed her. Houston Police Chief Troy Finner stated that it was not immediately clear whether the officers’ gunfire caused the child’s injuries.
Worshippers reported hearing multiple gunshots between services at the megachurch, which typically sees a weekly attendance of 45,000 people and broadcasts its sermons to approximately 100 countries. Pastor Joel Osteen expressed devastation over the shooting and emphasized that the situation could have been much worse if it had occurred during the larger 11 a.m. service.
The Houston Police Chief also confirmed that no explosives were found after a search of the woman’s vehicle and backpack, despite initial reports of a bomb.
The shooting resulted in a significant law enforcement presence at the church, with at least 20 police and fire trucks on the scene. Worshippers were evacuated from the church, and a reunification center was established at a nearby gym for individuals to reunite with their loved ones.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement expressing condolences to those affected by the tragic shooting and the entire Lakewood Church community.
The incident has left the community shaken, with witnesses describing the chaos and fear that erupted as news of the shooting spread. As the investigation continues, authorities are working to provide support to those impacted by the violent event.