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Video appears to capture deadly shooting at Joel Osteen’s mega-church

video-appears-to-capture-deadly-shooting-at-joel-osteen’s-mega-church
Video appears to capture deadly shooting at Joel Osteen’s mega-church
Houston Police officers watch over displaced churchgoers outside Lakewood Church, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024
The Lakewood Church shooting Sunday left a 5-year-old boy critically wounded and a man in his 50s injured. AP

A chilling video appears to capture the moment police said a female shooter with a child in tow opened fire at Joel Osteen’s Houston-area mega-church — before she was killed by off-duty cops.

In the clip shared on X, a bearded man in glasses is seen speaking at the start of a Spanish-language service at Osteen’s Lakewood Church Sunday afternoon, when suddenly he is interrupted by a barrage of gunfire.

The speaker briefly tries to continue, but then another shot echoes through the church, prompting him to turn around and see a crowd of panicked people fleeing down an escalator behind him.

The broadcast of the sermon then cuts to a blue screen displaying the Lakewood Church logo.

Police said a woman in her 30s, dressed in a trench coat and carrying backpack and a long rifle, entered the massive church just before 2 p.m. with a 5-year-old boy and opened fire.

A screenshot from a video shows a Lakewood Church official speaking at the start of a Spanish service Sunday when a barrage of gunfire is heard

A screenshot from a video shows a Lakewood Church official speaking at the start of a Spanish service Sunday when a barrage of gunfire is heard.

The church worker turns around to see parishioners fleeing for their lives down an escalator

The church worker turns around to see parishioners fleeing for their lives down an escalator.

First responders and members of law enforcement surround the area after a shooting incident at television evangelist Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, U.S. February 11, 2024

The shooting was carried out by a woman in her 30s with a 5-year-old boy Sunday, police said. REUTERS

Two off-duty officers working security at the church — a Houston cop and an agent with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission — returned fire and fatally shot the woman, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said at a news briefing Sunday.

The boy who was with the woman was critically wounded in the shootout, but it was not clear how he was struck by gunfire.

Asked whether the child was shot by one of the officers, Finner declined to speculate but said: “That female, that suspect, put that baby in danger. I’m going to put that blame on her.”

Houston Police officers watch over displaced churchgoers outside Lakewood Church, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024

Two off-duty officers confronted the active shooter and killed her on the spot. AP

Carlos Gonzalez, a worship singer, hugs a fellow churchgoer after a shooting incident at television evangelist Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston

Carlos Gonzalez, a worship singer, hugs a fellow churchgoer after the church shooting. REUTERS

The youngster was taken to Texas Children’s Hospital. His relationship to the woman was not immediately known.

A man in his 50s, described as a bystander, was shot in the hip and hospitalized in stable condition, Finner said.

Before the gun-toting woman died from her injuries, she poured an unknown substance on the floor and told officers that there was a bomb, but a search of the area turned up no explosives.

Television evangelist Joel Osteen speaks at a news conference with law enforcement officials at his Lakewood Church

Pastor Joe Osteen said that the violence could have been worse had the shooting happened during an earlier service. via REUTERS

As of Monday morning, there was still no word on a possible motive behind the violence.

The harrowing ordeal occurred between the English ad Spanish-language services at the mega-church.

Pastor Joel Osteen, 60, said during a press briefing Sunday that that tragedy could have been worse if the shooting had happened during the earlier and larger late Sunday morning service.

“I could only imagine what could only imagine if it would have happened during the 11 o’clock service,” he said at the scene.

The church, founded by Osteen’s late father, is regularly attended by 45,000 people weekly, making it the third-largest mega-church in the U.S., according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

With Post wires

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