Tragic Incident at Joel Osteen's Megachurch: Woman Opens Fire, Boy Injured

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  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 02/11/2024
Inside famous pastor Joel Osteen's megachurch in Texas, a lady wearing a trenchcoat opened fire on Sunday with a long gun, sending congregants running for cover as two off-duty policemen engaged and killed the gunman. There were two more victims of gunfire, one of them a critically wounded 5-year-old youngster.

Shortly before the Houston church's 2 p.m. service, fighting broke out. Just as the rest of the nation was getting ready for the Super Bowl, Spanish service was about to start. The girl and the kid who was injured in the gunfire with the police went inside the massive Lakewood Church, which formerly housed the Houston Rockets of the NBA and could hold 16,000 people. There was also damage to a 57-year-old male.

In the hours after the incident, details of the altercation are still unknown, and authorities have not disclosed the woman's identify or suggested reason. Additionally, it is unclear who shot the kid and the guy, as well as what, if any, connection the lady had with him.

At a press conference outside the church, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said, "I will say this." "That suspect, that girl, endangered that infant." I am going to hold her accountable for it.

The male with a hip wound was stable at another hospital, while the youngster was in serious condition at a children's hospital.

According to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, the megachurch is the third-largest megachurch in the United States and has 45,000 attendees each week. The shooting took place there in between services. According to Osteen, if the violence had occurred at the earlier, more attended 11 a.m. session, it may have been even worse.

Reporters who were witnesses said they heard several gunshots. “I started screaming, 'There is a shooter, there is a shooter,'" Christina Rodriguez, who was inside the church, told Houston television station KTRK. She and other survivors then ran to the rear of a library inside the structure and waited in a stairway until they were told it was safe to leave.

Alan Guity, a longtime churchgoer whose family is from Honduras, claimed he heard gunshots as his mother was serving as an usher and he was sleeping inside the church's sanctuary prior to the Spanish service.

"I shouted, 'Mom,' and there was a boom, boom, boom, boom," he said to The Associated Press.

The shooting continued as the 35-year-old hurried to his mother, where they both lay low on the ground and prayed. Before someone announced that it was safe for them to go, they stayed there for around five minutes. Guity said that outside, he and his mother performed worship and sang the Spanish song "Move in me, move in me" in an attempt to quiet the crowd. Touch both my heart and my thoughts. Holy Spirit, come upon me.

Finner said that even with the mayhem, the incident "could have been a lot worse" if the two cops had not "engaged" the lady when she started shooting. On Sunday, they had been handling security at the church, and Finner gave them credit for their promptness.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Houston Police Department, respectively, employ the cops. Both are now on protocol-mandated administrative duty.

The lady informed police she had a bomb after being shot, but when her car and rucksack were checked, no explosives were discovered, according to the authorities. Hours thereafter, first responders were searching the megachurch.

On Sunday, Osteen said that his followers are "devastated." He continued by saying he would pray for the relatives of the victims, the lady who carried out the shooting, and both. Where he was when the shooting occurred was unclear.

"We are going to continue moving ahead and staying strong," he said during the police press conference. Although there are powers of evil, the forces of God, who are working in our favor, are more powerful than them. Thus, we will continue to go forward and simply carry out God's mission of uplifting people and bringing hope to all people.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement that "our sympathies are with the families affected by today's horrible massacre and the entire Lakewood Church community in Houston." Worship locations are holy.

Since Joel Osteen assumed leadership of the church after his father's death in 1999 and established a positive kind of Christian televangelism that has amassed a million followers, the church has seen exponential growth over the last 25 years. Almost 100 nations watch his sermons on television. In a remodeled feed shop, the elder Osteen established the church in 1959.


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