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Mother Opens Fire at Joel Osteen’s Church with Young Child in Tow, Shot Dead by Police


A woman armed with a long gun took her young child to Joel Osteen’s Houston-area mega-church on Sunday, Feb. 11, and opened fire, leading cops to shoot her dead and the child to suffer critical gunshot wounds.

The woman, dressed in a trench coat and carrying a backpack, stormed Osteen’s Lakewood Church just before 2 p.m. with the boy, about 4 or 5 years old, and began shooting before two off-duty law enforcement officers fatally shot her, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said at a news briefing Sunday.

Mother with a young child opens fire at Joel Osteen

The young boy was shot and critically wounded though it’s unclear by whose gun. He was rushed to Texas Children’s Hospital, where he remains in critical condition, officials said.

A 57-year-old man, described as a bystander, was shot in the leg and transported to a local hospital in stable condition, Finner said.

The shooter — believed to be between 30 and 35 years old — claimed to also have a bomb and sprayed an unknown substance on the ground before she was shot dead, the chief said.

Mother with a young child opens fire at Joel Osteen

However, authorities conducted a sweep of the area and found no explosives on her person or in her car.

The gunfire began between services before a Spanish-language mass was scheduled, Joel Osteen said at the news conference. He added that the shooting could have been much worse.

“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 pastor said he felt like he was “kinda in a fog” following the shooting.

“But we’re gonna stray strong, we’re gonna continue to move forward,” Osteen said. “There are forces of evil but the forces that are for us, the forces of God are stronger than that.”

A witness told ABC 13 that she heard gunshots from the choir room, which sent churchgoers into a panic.

“The whole church started praying and declaring Jesus’ name,” she said. “I was like, ‘This might be the last time I get to pray, that I get to glorify the name of Jesus, so I’m going to do this.’”

Another congregant told the local station that he heard between 20 to 30 gunshots as he ran out with his three young daughters.

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