HOUSTON, TEXAS – A 5-year-old boy was critically wounded during a shooting incident at the Lakewood Church in Houston on Sunday afternoon. The shooting unfolded just before the church’s 2 p.m. Spanish language service was set to begin. The armed woman, between 30 and 35 years old, entered the church along with the young boy and opened fire before being shot and killed by off-duty police officers. The 5-year-old boy and a 57-year-old man were injured in the shootout.
According to Houston Police Chief Troy Finner, the suspect, who claimed to have a bomb, was gunned down by two off-duty officers working security at the church. The injured child is hospitalized in critical condition and the man, who is not believed to be involved in the incident, is in stable condition. No explosives were found by police, despite the suspect’s claim.
Finner also mentioned that it is unclear whether the responding officers shot the child. However, he asserted, “If it was, unfortunately, and that female, that suspect, put that baby in danger, I’m gonna put that blame on her.”
The incident could have been much worse, as the suspect was armed with a long gun, according to Finner. Celebrity pastor Joel Osteen expressed gratitude that the shooting did not occur during the church’s 11 a.m. service, as the suspect could have caused even more damage.
Osteen’s Lakewood Church is one of the largest megachurches in the United States. The church was packed on a Sunday afternoon, and the shooting incident has left the community shaken. The injured child remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, and the 57-year-old man is recovering from his wounds in stable condition. The motive behind the shooting is still under investigation.
The tragic incident at the Lakewood Church has raised concerns about security measures, especially in large public gatherings and religious institutions. The aftermath of the shooting is a somber reminder of the importance of vigilance in ensuring the safety of all individuals, especially in places of worship.