A woman opened fire Sunday afternoon at pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, which has one of the nation’s largest congregations. She was fatally shot by off-duty officers. No one else at the church died, the Texas Tribune reports. The woman, between the ages of 30 and 35, entered the church wearing a trench coat and a backpack and carrying a long rifle, said Houston Police Chief Troy Finner. A young child who police said was 4 to 5 years old accompanied her. The woman began shooting upon entering the church. Two off-duty officers shot the woman, who died on the scene. The child was also shot and is in critical condition at Texas Children’s Hospital. A 57-year-old man — unassociated with the shooter — was shot in the leg.
The shooter said she had a bomb, so officers searched her vehicle and backpack but did not recover any explosives. They searched the church, which seats more than 16,000 people. Officers also said the shooter was spraying an unidentifiable substance. Fire Chief Samuel Peña said they found “nothing of concern.” Law enforcement did not identify the shooter’s motive or her identity. She entered the church minutes before the 2 2 p.m. Spanish-language service. “It’s unfortunate that on the day we want to attend church and watch America’s No. 1 sports event, we find ourselves gathered here to respond to this tragedy,” said Mayor John Whitmire. “We want Houstonians to know they are being protected by their first responders.” Lakewood Church is 6 miles outside of downtown Houston in the former arena for the Houston Rockets. The nondenominational, evangelical Christian church attracts people from across the U.S. in person and online.