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Shooting reported at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston

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A shooting was reported Saturday at pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, and the shooter was down, officials said.

Houston police responded to reports of a shooting at 3700 Southwest Freeway — the address of Lakewood Church — around 2:24 p.m. local time, the department said on X.

Houston Fire Department spokesperson Martee Black confirmed the department was responding to a shooting at Lakewood Church.

Pictures and videos from outside the church showed police cars and emergency vehicles lining up.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the shooter is down. He walked back an earlier post on X that said that the shooter was shot by an on-scene deputy. In an updated post, he said that someone from a different agency fired.

It was not immediately clear if there were any other injuries or deaths.

Police said the scene is ongoing and active and asked people to avoid the area.

“There is an active situation involving shots fired at Lakewood. Law enforcement is on the scene,” Lakewood Church posted on X. “That is all the information we have at this time. Please pray for Lakewood and our community.”

Gonzalez said on X that “info remains preliminary, as things remain dynamic.”

A woman named Maria who is from Colombia and witnessed the shooting said she heard the first shot fired about eight minutes before a church service started.

“After the second shot, everybody started running. I ran with my kids … my family,” she told local NBC News affiliate KPRC.

Then she heard eight more shots, she said. She and her family laid down on the floor until someone told them it was safe to leave the church.

She said she called her husband and father to say “I love you,” thinking it might be the last time. She said she never imagined she would be in something like this.

Lakewood Church, led by pastors Joel and Victoria Osteen, is an evangelical nondenominational Christian megachurch.
Lakewood Church, led by pastors Joel and Victoria Osteen, is an evangelical nondenominational Christian megachurch.Aaron M. Sprecher / AP

In a statement Saturday, Gov. Greg Abbott said, “Our hearts are with those impacted by today’s tragic shooting and the entire Lakewood Church community in Houston. Places of worship are sacred.”

Abbott said he has offered “full support and resources of the State of Texas” to Houston Mayor John Whitmire “to help this community and help bring swift justice to the criminal who committed this heinous act.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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