Off-duty officers responded as a woman began shooting inside pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston on Sunday, killing the suspect, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said at a news conference.
A child was left in critical condition following the incident and a 57-year-old man was also shot in the leg, Finner said.
Finner said the woman, between the ages of 30 and 35 years old, entered the Lakewood Church on the west side at approximately 1:53 p.m. local time.
Finner says she was armed with a long rifle and was accompanied by a 5-year-old boy.
“Both officers … engaged, striking the female,” Finner said. “She’s deceased here on the scene. Unfortunately, a 5-year-old kid was hit and is in critical condition at our local hospital,”
Finner said the 5-year-old was also shot and was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. When asked if police shot the child, Finner said he didn’t know but added, “If it was, unfortunately, and that female, that suspect, put that baby in danger, I’m gonna put that blame on her.”
A 57-year-old man, who Finner said is not believed to be involved in the incident, was shot in the leg and transported to the hospital in stable condition, he said.
The female suspect claimed to have a bomb, but no explosives were found by officers, the chief told the media.
“She had a long gun and it could’ve been a lot worse,” Finner said during the press conference.
Pastor Joel Osteen spoke during the press conference as well, noting the incident took place in between services at the megachurch.
“I can only imagine what would have happened if this happened during the 11:00 service,” Osteen said. “She could have done much worse damage.”
Earlier, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said some Harris County deputies also work at the church as a part-time job.
The Sunday afternoon shooting was reported while a Spanish language service was underway.
First appeared on abcnews.go.com