Following a midday shooting at the Houston megachurch of well-known pastor Joel Osteen, a Texas sheriff reported on Sunday that the gunman had been taken out.
More information was not immediately provided by Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez in his post on X, the website that was formerly known as Twitter. A “active situation involving shots fired” was reported on social media earlier by Lakewood Church, during one of the biggest megachurches in the United States, during its customarily packed Sunday services.
Later, police and other law enforcement authorities planned to hold a press conference. The Houston megachurch was ringed by a large police presence. As authorities evacuated the church, worshippers were observed exiting the premises, and they declared that they would be conducting a thorough check of the structure as a precaution.
Lakewood is the third largest megachurch in the United States, drawing around 45,000 attendees each week, according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. Almost 100 countries watch Osteen’s broadcast sermons.
Shortly after, Lakewood Church announced that there was a “active situation involving shots fired” at the church on X, the platform that was formerly known as Twitter.
🙏 Pray For #LakewoodChurch
— DrMalachi.eth – (Dr. Run) – Marathon Every Day (@malachiobrien) February 11, 2024
“Our hearts are with those impacted by today’s tragic shooting and the entire Lakewood Church community in Houston,” stated Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Worship locations are holy. Reporters were informed by witnesses that they heard several gunshots right before the church’s Spanish language service at 2:00 p.m.
Christina Rodriguez, who was inside the church, said she “started screaming, ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,'” according to Houston television station KTRK. and when it was announced that it was safe for them to leave, she and the others fled to the rear of a library inside the structure and stood in a stairway.
As the officials cleared the church, people gathered outside the structure. Later on, authorities declared that a reunification centre had been established in a neighbouring gym to assist people in locating their family members.
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