Charisma News Brief: 2 Wounded, Alleged Shooter Dead as Violence Erupts at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church
Reports from authorities in Houston, Texas, continue to come in after a woman allegedly entered Joel Osteen‘s Lakewood Church and began shooting before the Spanish-language service was set to begin at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11. Houston police chief Troy Finner told reporters that the suspect, armed with a long gun, began firing after she entered the church. Two off-duty police officers engaged with and struck the shooter.
“She is deceased here on the scene,” Finner said. “Unfortunately, the 5 year-old kid was hit and is in critical condition at a local hospital. There was a 57-year-old man who didn’t have anything to do with it, I don’t think, who was shot in the leg. He’s seeking treatment in the hospital.”
Osteen, who took over as Lakewood’s senior pastor after his father, John Osteen, the church’s founding pastor, died suddenly in 1999, met with news media shortly after authorities secured the scene. After thanking law enforcement for doing an “amazing job” and noting that “we are devastated,” he offered a word of encouragement:
“We don’t understand exactly why these things happen, but we know God is in control, and we’re going to pray,” he said, adding, “We’re going to stay strong, we’re going to continue to move forward. There are forces of evil, but the forces that are for us, the forces of God, are stronger than that, so we’re going to keep going strong and do what God’s called us to do: lift people up and give hope to the world.”
This is a developing story, so please watch Charisma News for further updates.