HOUSTON, Texas – An unidentified woman entered Lakewood Church in Houston with a small child and opened fire, prompting a swift response from local law enforcement. Houston Police Chief Troy Finner stated that the motive behind the shooting remains unclear and that the church has confirmed the incident, asking for prayers for the community.
The shooter, described as a 30 to 35-year-old female, entered the church at around 12:53 p.m. CT armed with a long rifle and accompanied by a young boy. The suspect was fatally shot and pronounced dead at the scene by off-duty officers. Witnesses reported that the woman had claimed to have a bomb in her backpack and was spraying an unknown substance on the church’s ground.
During a press conference, Finner revealed that the shooting occurred around the scheduled start time of the Spanish language church service. Multiple law enforcement agencies are collaborating on the investigation, with an emphasis on ensuring the safety of anyone else inside the church. Two victims, a 5-year-old boy and a 57-year-old male, were taken to the hospital for treatment.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement expressing condolences to those affected by the tragedy and offering state resources to aid the community and to bring justice to the perpetrator. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez mentioned that it is believed a Harris County deputy was responsible for shooting the assailant.
Lakewood Church, founded by Joel and Delores Osteen and one of the largest congregations in the country, averages about 45,000 attendees per week. A reunification center was set up at Lamar High School, and officials advised people to avoid the area at that time. The investigation is ongoing, and updates will be provided as new information becomes available.