HOUSTON, TEXAS – A shooting at Joel Osteen’s 16800-seat megachurch in Houston has left the popular televangelist “devastated,” he said Sunday. The shooting took place during a service and left the suspect dead and no one else injured.
Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, said he was grateful for the quick response from law enforcement and security at the church. “Evil will not prevail,” Osteen said in a statement following the shooting.
The incident occurred as the church was celebrating its “A Night of Hope” event, where thousands had gathered to hear Osteen speak. The suspect, who has not been identified, entered the church and opened fire before being confronted by a church member who is part of the volunteer security team. The church member fatally shot the suspect.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner commended the actions of the church’s security team and said that the quick response prevented further tragedy. The motive behind the shooting is still under investigation.
Lakewood Church, which was once the site of the Compaq Center sports arena, is one of the largest megachurches in the United States. Osteen, known for his positive and uplifting sermons, has a large following as a bestselling author and TV personality.
The shooting has shaken the community and left many churchgoers in shock. Despite the tragic event, Osteen assured the public that the church will continue to hold services and remain a place of hope and healing for the community.