1. Long-tailed phrase: “Shooting incident at Joel Osteen’s megachurch”
2. Long-tailed phrase: “Details of the shooting at Joel Osteen’s megachurch”.
By Trend News Line 2024-02-12 21:32:54.
Shooter’s Motive Still Unclear in Attack on Joel Osteen’s Megachurch
A shooting at the Lakewood Church in Houston, led by celebrity pastor Joel Osteen, has left authorities searching for answers as they investigate the shooter’s motive. The suspect’s home in Conroe, Texas, was searched as authorities identified the weapon used in the attack as an AR-style rifle.
The incident occurred during a busy service at Lakewood Church, causing panic among worshippers who were forced to seek safety. The shooter, identified as 36-year-old Genesse Ivonne Moreno, was shot and killed by two off-duty officers working security at the church. Two other individuals, including the shooter’s young son, were wounded in the attack.
Details of the Shooting
The shooting unfolded on Sunday, just before 2 p.m., inside the former home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, now known as Lakewood Church. The shooter, dressed in a trenchcoat and armed with a long rifle, entered the church accompanied by the young boy. The off-duty officers, one from the Houston police department and another from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, confronted the suspect and exchanged gunfire.
Before being shot and killed, the suspect claimed to have a bomb and possessed materials consistent with the manufacture of explosive devices. However, a subsequent search found no explosives. Authorities commended the officers for their swift response and bravery in neutralizing the shooter.
The shooter’s young son, initially reported as a 5-year-old but later identified as a 7-year-old, was critically injured after being shot in the head. The boy was taken to a Houston children’s hospital for treatment. Another victim, described as a man in his 50s, suffered a gunshot wound to the hip.
Witness Accounts of the Incident
Alan Guity, a longtime member of Lakewood Church, recalled hearing the gunshots while resting in the sanctuary. He and his mother sought refuge on the floor until it was safe to evacuate. Guity described the chaotic scene outside the church, with people crying and searching for their loved ones. To calm the frightened crowd, Guity and his mother began singing and worshiping in Spanish.
Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church
Joel Osteen, the leader of Lakewood Church, took over the role after his father’s passing in 1999. Under his leadership, the church has become one of the largest megachurches in the U.S., with a weekly attendance of 45,000 worshippers. Osteen is known for preaching the prosperity gospel and is the author of several best-selling books. The church’s arena underwent a $100 million renovation and its televised services reach approximately 100 countries.
During Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Osteen faced criticism for not initially offering shelter to those affected by the disaster. However, he later opened the doors of Lakewood Church to provide assistance to those in need.
Associated Press reporter Paul J. Weber in Texas contributed to this report.
1. Shooting incident at Joel Osteen’s megachurch
2. Understanding the shooting at Joel Osteen’s megachurch.