During a religious service at Lakewood Church, a mega evangelical church located near Houston, Texas, a woman entered the building with a long rifle and opened fire. Off-duty officers attending the event quickly responded and killed her. Two people were seriously injured in the shooting, including a 5-year-old child who was with her and another woman. The service had just ended in English, with a Spanish service about to begin.
The woman fired several magazines and claimed to have a bomb as she targeted the congregation. The faithful sought shelter from the bullets as the police evacuated the entire shopping center where the church is located after rumors spread of a second attacker. However, these rumors turned out to be unfounded.
Joel Osteen, the televangelist of Lakewood Church, issued a statement saying that he did not know why such an incident occurred but that “God is in control.” The police have yet to provide any details on the identity or motivation of the woman who carried out the attack or even specify her relationship with the injured child. Her car was also searched for any explosives.
According to Lifeway Research, an association headed by the Southern Baptist Convention, 55% of pastors have created response plans for possible armed attacks during religious services.