Law enforcement officers responded to a "possible shooter" at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Texas on Sunday afternoon. The shooting suspect is reportedly dead, but a man and a child were shot.
KTRK reported, "The 2 p.m. Spanish-speaking service was about to begin when chaos erupted."
A witness told the outlet, "The whole church started praying and declaring Jesus' name. I was like, 'This might be the last time I get to pray, that I get to glorify the name of Jesus, so I'm going to do this.'"
A man told KTRK that he ran out of the megachurch in southwest Houston with his three young daughters after hearing between 20 to 30 gunshots.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez wrote at 3:10 p.m. EST on the X social media platform, "Receiving initial reports of possible shots fired at/or around Lakewood Church."
The Lakewood Church later stated, "There is an active situation involving shots fired at Lakewood. Law enforcement is on the scene."
Gonzalez said, "Shooter is down. 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."
Houston Police Department said that the suspect was a 30 to 35-year-old woman, who entered Lakewood Church with a long rifle, trenchcoat, and a backpack. She was accompanied by a child, who is approximately 5-years-old.
HPD Chief Troy Finner said the shooter at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church was shot by off-duty Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officers. The TABC officers reportedly work at Lakewood Church.
However, a 5-year-old was also shot, and is in critical condition. The child was reportedly with the woman.
If police are responsible for shooting the child, Finner said he would "put that blame" on the female suspect for putting the boy in danger.
A 57-year-old was shot in the leg.
The shooter allegedly threatened to have bombs, but law enforcement has not found any explosives. She was also allegedly "spraying some kind of substance," according to Finner.
A police spokesman said, "She had a long gun and it could've been a lot worse."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released the following statement:
Our hearts are with those impacted by today's tragic shooting and the entire Lakewood Church community in Houston. Places of worship are sacred. I have been in contact with Mayor Whitmire and offered the full support and resources of the State of Texas, including Department of Public Safety officers and Texas Rangers, to help this community and help bring swift justice to the criminal who committed this heinous act. Join Cecilia and me in praying for this community during this difficult time and for the brave men and women in blue who acted quickly to respond to this tragedy.
This is a developing story and will be updated when new details arrive.
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