Texas Police Respond To Reported Shooting At Joel Osteen’s Megachurch


Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Texas authorities rushed to pastor Joel Osteen’s megachurch in Houston Sunday after receiving reports of an active shooter, authorities confirmed.

Around 2 p.m. the Houston Police Department responded to reports of an active shooting at the Lakewood Church at 27000 Southwest Freeway and warned local residents to “avoid the area” in a post on X (formally known as Twitter).

“The active scene is at Lakewood Church on the SW Fwy service road. Traffic is very heavy near and on the service road. Please avoid the area and use alternate routes,” authorities stated.

Authorities confirmed during a press briefing that the shooter, identified as a woman, entered the west side of the church building before opening fire with a single rifle. Houston Police Chief Troy Finner described that the woman had been wearing a backpack over a trench coat and was allegedly accompanied by a child around 5-years-old.

Finner confirmed that the woman shooter was killed by police at the scene, however, the child was hit during the incident and is in “critical condition” currently at a local hospital. Authorities noted that an unidentified man around 37-years-old was also hit in the leg during the event, and is in the hospital as well.

The Lakewood church confirmed the shooting in a social media post, stating that the only information they have “at the time” is an “active situation involving shots fired” at the church. A video posted to X showed the moment the alleged shots could be heard during a Spanish service broadcast.

The Spanish translator could be heard for roughly 5 seconds before what appears to be gun shots heard in the background. As the apparent shots echoed, the host pauses before looking around as people in the background are seen rushing down an escalator.

Officials from the church had reportedly confirmed that they were wrapping up an afternoon service and were about to begin their Spanish speaking service before the shooting took place, according to Click 2 Houston. 

As multiple agencies responded to the initial call, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez arrived on scene shortly after the incident too, according to a post on X. Gonzales confirmed that the shooter is down and noted that other agencies besides HCSO had “fired” shots. 

Following the incident, witnesses on the scene told the outlet that there were multiple gunshots heard. Church attendee, Paula Laverde, recounted the event to Click 2 Houston stating that she had heard shots “multiple sets of shots” while running away from the scene with her boyfriend. 

“So there was one shot first and then there was a set of shots and then we started running and then there were multiple sets of shots, I can’t really count them, it was at least five times that they shot multiple times,” Laverde told the outlet.

The investigation is currently ongoing and no motive has been confirmed.

This is breaking news and will be updated.