Texas authorities say that a woman opened fire at Lakewood Church, the church of pastor and televangelist Joel Osteen.
Wearing a trench coat, armed with a long rifle, and accompanied by a child aged 4 or 5, she arrived at the property at about 1:53 p.m., and opened fire after entering the building, said Houston Police Chief Troy Finner.
This was in between services.
At one point, the woman, approximately aged 30 to 35 years old, allegedly claimed to have a bomb. She also sprayed a substance on the ground, the chief told reporters.
An off-duty agent for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and off-duty officer for Houston police were there, and they confronted her, shooting and killing her, Finner said.
“Unfortunately, the five-year-old kid was hit, and is in critical condition at our local hospital,” he told reporters.
A 57-year-old man, who apparently had nothing to do with the incident, was shot in the leg, Finner said. He is also receiving treatment.
In light of the woman’s bomb threat, authorities searched her backpack and vehicle but found no explosives, he said.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Finner said.
Authorities did not immediately identify anyone involved. Witnesses described hearing at least 14 gunshots, according to Houston NBC affiliate KPRC.
“So there was one shot first and then there was a set of shots and then we started running and then there were multiple sets of shots,” Paula Laverde reportedly said. “I can’t really count them. It was at least five times that they shot multiple times.”
Authorities released information of a reunification spot for anyone separated from loved ones.
“For those looking for family members, the family reunification location is at the LIFE TIME fitness at 1 Healthy Way in the Greenway Plaza area,” deputies wrote in an update at 3:35 p.m. local time.
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