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HomePoliticsHouston police, fire department responding to shooting at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church

Houston police, fire department responding to shooting at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church

The Houston Police Department and Houston Fire Department are responding to reports of a shooting at pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in the city, officials said.

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

Fire Department spokesperson Martee Black confirmed the fire department is 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.

When asked about the number of people who were shot or injured, Black said, “I don’t know” and referred NBC News to the Houston Police Department for more information.

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, “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.

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

Lakewood Church, led by Pastors Joel and Victoria Osteen, is an evangelical non-denominational Christian megachurch.Aaron M. Sprecher / AP

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