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Lakewood Church shooting: Woman with child in tow opens fire inside Joel Osteen’s Texas megachurch

Two people were injured and one suspect was killed during a shooting at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church on Sunday afternoon, Texas authorities say. 

During a press conference, police chief Troy Finner said that the shooting began at 1:53 p.m. It happened at around the time that the Spanish language church service was scheduled to start.

The suspect, who was a woman, entered the church with a long rifle. She was wearing a backpack and a trench coat, and was accompanied by a “small child, approximately 4 to 5 years old,” Finner said.

After she began shooting, off-duty officers at the scene “engaged” the woman and returned fire. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Two people were shot during the shooting at Lakewood Church, police say. (KHOU)

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Police said that two people were injured, including a 57-year-old man who was shot in the leg. The child that the shooter came with was also injured and remains in critical condition. 

Finner also disclosed that the suspect mentioned that she had a bomb.

“Once she went down, officers reported back to us that she threatened that she had a bomb,” the police chief explained. “So we searched her vehicle, our bomb squad, and also the backpack [she brought].”

Police car at scene

Police chief Troy Finner said that the female shooter is dead. (KHOU)

“No explosives were found, but she was also spraying some type of substance on the ground.”

Police said the shooting appears to be isolated and they believe there is no further threat to the public.

During the press conference, senior pastor Joel Osteen thanked law enforcement and said that he was “devastated” by the shooting. 

“We don’t understand why all these things happened, but we know God’s in control,” Osteen said.

“We’re going to continue to to move forward. There are forces of evil, but the forces that are for us, the forces of God, are stronger than that,” he continued. “So we’re going to keep going strong and just, you know, doing what God’s called us to do, lift people up and give hope to the world again.”

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Two police officers walking at scene

Off-duty Houston police officers shot the female suspect at Lakewood Church, authorities say. (KHOU)

The death of the shooter was first announced by Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez earlier that afternoon.

“Correction: shooter is down,” Gonzalez wrote on social media. “But it does not appear that@HCSOTexas deputies fired shots; other agencies fired.”

“We continue to assist in a methodical/thorough search of the complex.”

At around 2:10 p.m. CT, Gonzalez announced that there were “possible shots fired at/or around Lakewood Church.” Less than an hour later, Texas police confirmed that the scene was Lakewood Church.

Police later advised that anyone with missing family members should head to the “family reunification location” at Greenway Plaza’s Life Time Fitness gym.

Lakewood Church surrounded by police

Texas authorities arrived to investigate an active shooting at Lakewood Church. (KRIV)

Lakewood Church confirmed on X that there was a shooting and asked that users “please pray for Lakewood and our community.”

In a press release sent to local outlets, Governor Greg Abbott called the shooting “tragic.”

“Our hearts are with those impacted by today’s tragic shooting and the entire Lakewood Church community in Houston,” Abbott said. “Places of worship are sacred.”

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Texas police cruisers

No fatalities were reported from the shooter besides the suspect. (KHOU)

Fox News Digital reached out to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and the Houston Police Department for comment.

Fox News Digital’s Brooke Curto contributed to this report.

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