Two people, including a five-year-old boy, were injured by a woman who opened fire, before being shot, in the huge Texas church of the famous pastor and televangelist Joel Osteen, informs the AFP agencies and Reutersquoted by Agerpres.
Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood ChurchPhoto: Scott Coleman / Zuma Press / Profimedia Images
Armed with a rifle and accompanied by a child, the attacker entered the church, a former 16,800-seat sports venue, at around 2pm (20:00 GMT), Houston’s police chief told a news conference. , Troy Finner.
The woman started shooting, but off-duty police officers at the scene quickly responded and killed her, he added. A five-year-old child is “in critical condition” in hospital, and a man in his fifties was shot in the leg, the police chief continued.
The shooting at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church today…. A good guy with a gun stopped a bad woman today. Praying for the families involved. pic.twitter.com/Pf7TRMJ8Re
— James Owen (@realjamesowen1) February 11, 2024
The attack took place between two religious services, just before the service in Spanish began, said Pastor Osteen, 60, whose live televised sermons are watched by millions every week.
UPDATE: Two good guys neutralized the threat at Lakewood Church in Houston.
Thank God for the Second Amendment and concealed carry. pic.twitter.com/RYIimhjqEW
— I Meme Therefore I Am \uD83C\uDDFA\uD83C\uDDF8 (@ImMeme0) February 12, 2024
Osteen said he was “appalled” by the gun attack. “I can’t imagine if this would have happened during the 11 a.m. service,” he told a news conference, adding that he would pray for the victims and the attackers.
The United States recorded one of the bloodiest armed attacks in recent years in October
With more guns than people, the United States has the highest gun death rate of any developed country. Gun attacks are a recurring scourge that successive governments have so far been powerless to stop, with many Americans remaining very attached to their guns.
Although he has repeatedly promised to do more to tighten gun laws, President Joe Biden has been handcuffed by a House of Representatives in which the pro-gun Republican Party holds a majority and a Supreme Court dominated by conservative justices.
The issue of armed attacks and the right to bear arms, enshrined in the Constitution of the United States, will very likely be one of the topics that will give rise to heated debates during the campaign for the presidential and legislative elections that the USA will organize this year.
In October of last year at least 18 people were killed and dozens more were injured in two armed attacks in the state of Maine in the northeastern US in the bloodiest attack of this kind that took place on American soil in recent years .
That attack was carried out by Robert Card, a man trained as a firearms instructor. He committed the attack after being admitted to a mental health institution for two weeks last summer.