The assailant was shot dead by two off-duty officers, Houston’s top law enforcement official said
The attacker who opened fire inside a packed evangelical Chrsitian church in Houston on, Texas on Sunday was a woman who enter the building with a young child, police said on Sunday. They confirmed that the shooter was killed at the scene by off-duty officers.
The female suspect entered the Lakewood Church at around 1:53 pm local time, wearing a trench coat with a backpack and armed with a long rifle, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner. The woman was roughly 30-35 years old and accompanied by “a small child approximately 4-to-5 years old.”
At some point during the service, the woman opened fire. Two off-duty officers – a Houstin police officer and an agent with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission – shot the assailant, who died at the scene. The child she was with has been injured in the firefight.
“Unfortunately a 5-year-old kid was hit and is in critical condition at our local hospital,” Finner said, adding that the child’s relationship to the shooter is unclear. One of the churchgoers – a 57-year-old man – was shot in the leg and is now also receiving treatment.
According to the police chief, the attacker claimed that she had a bomb, but no explosives have been found. Finner did not release any additional information about the shooter and did not comment on her possible motives.
The church has an average attendance of 45,000 people, according to the media. It was founded in 1959 by pastor John Osteen and is currently run by his son Joel and Joel’s wife Victoria.