Joel Osteen
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Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, one of the largest and most watched on television church services, was the scene Sunday of an active shooting. Authorities say just before 2 p.m., as the church was between services and about to begin a Spanish-language service, a woman dressed in a trench coat and carrying a backpack entered the church with a rifle and a 5-year-old child in tow and began opening fire. Off-duty police officers working security at the church quickly engaged the woman, killing her before she could harm anybody.

Sadly, in the short firefight, the 5-year-old was hit and critically injured. A man in his 50s was also wounded, some reports said being hit in his leg, and received treatment. It is unclear at this time who fired the shots that wounded the man or the child.

Parishioners reportedly ran and barricaded themselves at the sounds of shots being fired when the woman, believed to be between 30 and 35 entered the church. She was seen spraying something as she entered, which led to police calling Hazmat units out to investigate, but whatever was sprayed was determined not to present a hazard.

The Texas Tribune further reports the following details:

The shooter threatened that she had a bomb, so officers searched her vehicle and backpack but did not recover any explosives, police said. They continued a search of the church, which seats more than 16,000 people, on Sunday afternoon. Officers also said the shooter was spraying an unidentifiable substance, prompting officers to call upon the Houston Fire Department and hazmat units. 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 start of the 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,” Houston Mayor John Whitmire said during the press conference. “We want Houstonians to know they are being protected by their first responders.”

Whitmire thanked first responders for their collaboration. Officers from the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, Houston Fire Department and Houston Police Department were on scene. The two off-duty agents who shot the shooter were from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Houston Police Department.

Lakewood Church is about 6 miles outside of downtown Houston in the former arena for the Houston Rockets. The nondenominational, evangelical Christian church attracts people from across the country both in person and online.

In a news conference following the shooting, a visibly shaken Joel Osteen, told reporters he was “in a fog” and “things could’ve been a lot worse,” thanking authorities for their quick response.

“Of course we’re devastated, we’ve been here 65 years and to have somebody shooting in your church. We don’t understand why these things happen, but we know God’s in control,” Osteen said. “We’re going to pray for that little five-year-old boy and pray for the lady who is deceased and her family and all and the other gentleman.”

“I can only imagine if it would’ve happened during the eleven o’clock service, we were in between services, going into the Spanish service, so, you know, if there’s anything good of it is she didn’t get in there and do a whole lot worse damage. So, we thank God for that.”

 

 

The Texas Tribune noted several other church shootings in the state in recent years:

Several mass shootings have occurred in U.S. houses of worship in recent years, including the November 2017 shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. Twenty-six people were killed and 20 others were wounded when a gunman opened fire on parishioners in the rural town east of San Antonio.

In December 2019, a man shot and killed two people during a church service at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, a suburb of Fort Worth. A church member shot and killed him in seconds. A Texas law passed in response to the Sutherland Springs shooting allows licensed handgun owners to carry those weapons in places of worship. The White Settlement church formed a volunteer security team in response to that law.

The Sutherland Springs shooting occurred just months before a school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, which prompted (Gov. Greg) Abbott to host a series of discussions to identify solutions to gun violence. Lawmakers heard from statewide leaders, school officers and law enforcement, with some proposing universal background checks and policies to keep guns away from people who “pose an immediate danger.”

Lakewood Church is regularly attended by 45,000 people weekly making it the third largest church in the U.S., NBC News reported. They also noted Osteen’s “televised sermons reach about 100 countries.”

The church was founded in a converted feed store in 1959 by Osteen’s father. Since his death in 1999, Osteen has helped grow the church and its reach exponentially by introducing “an upbeat style of Christian televangelism that has captured a following of millions.”

The church website posted the following statement in response to the shooting:

Our community is devastated by today’s events and grateful for the swift actions of law enforcement. May the healing hands of God touch the lives of everyone involved and provide comfort during this difficult time.

In the face of such darkness, we must hold onto our faith and remember evil will not prevail. God will guide us through the darkest of times. Together, we will rise above this tragedy and stand firm in our commitment to love and support one another.

In times like these, our faith is tested, but it is also strengthened. We don’t always understand why things like this happen, but we know that God is in control.

Please join me in continued prayer for healing and peace.

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72 COMMENTS

  1. GASP! Good guys (off duty police in this case) with guns stop ‘bad person’ with evil intent to harm and kill ! Nah…could not possibly be… anti-gun tells us its a myth that good guys with guns stop bad guys with evil intent to harm and kill – never ever happened, a lie, fake news, a myth, the anti-gun would say of the thousands of time daily it happens across the United States when an ordinary armed law abiding citizen stops the bad guy with evil intent to harm and kill.

    I guess it has to be something ‘sensational like’ to make the news. Ordinary armed law abiding citizens do it every day across the country and its not as ‘sensational’ – but throw in the word ‘rifle’ and a ‘crowd’ and suddenly the media wants to cover it like its the only thing in the world ’cause ‘need ban guns’ when in reality on that day that event represented less than .001% of the overall violent crime those law abiding ordinary armed citizens across the United States defended against that day and over 98% of that violent criminal threat did not use a firearm of any type for their crimes on that day.

    • Unfortunately; it appears that the off duty police officers shot the five year old child. What were they armed with? Perhaps 12 gauge shotguns with rifled choke tubes and loaded with buckshot?

      • I’m hearing the same thing. Can’t say I blame the cops/defenders and thankfully, the kid isn’t dead.

        This was one crazy gal :(.

        We can also see she was trying to get media attention. Banning the reporting of these cases will eliminate the fame-seeking we see in so many of these cases.

        • ” how?”

          Some cops have had a bad habit of hitting what they were *not* aiming at…

        • How does that work, Geoff? How do cops stop a shooter who is actively shooting, on the move, and dragging around a toddler shield?

        • “How does that work, Geoff?”

          I’ll explain it to you in a way that even someone as cognitively-challenged as “You don’t say?” can easily understand –

          Cops are known for piss-poor marksmanship in high-stress situations. That is *why* they “have had a bad habit of hitting what they were *not* aiming at…”, son.

          That’s. How. It. Works.

          Clear enough for you? 🙁

        • Begged the question.

          How do cops stop a shooter who is actively shooting, on the move, and dragging around a toddler shield — without hitting the child?

          You should have just told me that “they can shoot the gun out of his hand.”

      • Inside info on the cops and the shooting. Islamic terrorist enters a church with a kid and a backpack, says “I’ve got a bomb”, and starts shooting a rifle while using the kid as a human shield.

        So yeah, it was probably the cops who shot the human shield. With that many moving parts, something bad was always gonna happen.

      • The person responsible for the child’s injuries- both morally and under law- is the decedent who brought the child into harm’s way.

    • Apparently this piece of she/he/it was using the child as a human shield. This is standard tactica to be expected from somone who has “Free Palestine” written on their rifle.

  2. While I’m “happy” they stopped this deranged gal why oh why didja apparently shoot the little kid? I attend a large church in NW Indiana(that actually preaches the gospel) with a security presence. I carry a gun in my coat too. Legally per Indiana constitutional carry. I’ve heard some whispers of a “middle eastern” perpetrator but until we ever hear “the truth©”I’ll leave it at that🙄

    • Maybe because the shooter brought the child to the shooting, perhaps intending for the child to get shot in the shooting that the shooter planned to carry out? Ever hear of a Middle Eastern person using a child as a “human shield?”

    • Glad you mentioned your church actually preaches the Gospel. I’ve reviewed Lakewood and its website for personal purposes due to its influence on other churches (such as the almost identical Central Church in Henderson, NV), as well as watched a few of Osteen’s “sermons” for study. I have never seen Osteen preach exegetically from Scripture (which means to give a sermon as an actual study of the Bible, not as a feel-good presentation of a general message that only cherry-picks a couple of verses along the way). Osteen and his wife make themselves the center of their church, not Christ, and even refer to the services as “experiences” instead of worship.

      If you look through the Lakewood website, you’ll see plenty of images of Joel Osteen, several mentions of different ways to give your money to him, and even a link to the Lakewood Store to buy trinkets. But I have not seen a single Bible shown anywhere in its pages. Not a single photo, or even someone in the background holding a Bible. The focus of Lakewood is entirely on Osteen and money. Even the MSM has been reporting Lakewood these past 24 hours as “Osteen’s church”.

      TEHO, and we’re all free to attend (or not attend) whatever we choose. But if an alleged church promotes a person over Christ, and talks more about your “feelings” than your relationship with the Lord, and doesn’t even crack open a Bible…run.

      • Even the MSM has been reporting Lakewood these past 24 hours as “Osteen’s church”.

        To be fair to the media, most people wouldn’t know what Lakewood Church is, but they have heard of Joel Osteen. They are also guaranteed more hits on their story with Osteen’s name prominently displayed.

      • I somethimes watch Jimmy Swaggert because the man knows how to put a band and singers together and he’s a cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis. Both had their issues…to say the least.

        I have concern with the kid getting shot when the f-ing target wasn’t the kid.

        • The shooter brought the kid with the him-wanted-to-be-a-her “thing”…

        • I used to occasionally watch Jimmy Swaggert because he was quite the showman. Decades ago, after working midnight shifts, I would sometimes watch Jim and Tammy Fay Baker on the PTL (Pass the Loot) club because they were such unabashed grifters and it was mindless watching on my part while drifting off to sleep.

      • Joel’s dad John preached the gospel. Saw him at Faith Tabernacle in Chicago 1980’s. His progeny is cursed☹️

  3. The news outlets (including the source for this article) keep saying the child was “hit and injured”. You injure yourself; you are “wounded” if it’s from the actions of another person, particularly a bad actor. So if the child was “hit” during crossfire, does that mean a bullet struck him/her? If so, then the child was wounded.

    Anyhoo…I’m glad nobody else other than the shooter was reportedly killed in this incident. And I’m also glad the authorities have (so far) chosen to not reveal the shooter’s identity.

    Bring ’em down and keep ’em quiet. Don’t make dark celebrities of madmen.

    • “And I’m also glad the authorities have (so far) chosen to not reveal the shooter’s identity.”

      If this were a consistent policy, I might agree with you — but we know it’s not. Unfortunately government officials purposely withhold or release selective information depending on the political bent of the local government.

      Why is the “trannyfesto” of the Nashville shooter still under wraps, while the manifesto of the (white racist) Jacksonville shooter has been released? Narrative, my dear boy — narrative.

      • I deleted this comment when it went into moderation, then re-posted it with changes so that it would not get held. I suppose that means that the “delete” function (during the time allotted for editing) doesn’t work, ether.

    • Your comment is awaiting moderation
      “And I’m also glad the authorities have (so far) chosen to not reveal the shooter’s identity.”

      If this were a consistent policy, I might agree with you — but we know it’s not. Unfortunately government officials purposely withhold or release selective information depending on the political bent of the local government.

      Why is the [document] of the Nashville shooter still under wraps, while the manifesto of the (white racist) Jacksonville shooter has been released? Narrative, my dear boy — narrative.

      (Had to make a couple of small changes to prevent my comment from being “disappeared.” I kept the mod tag — this one wasn’t held up.)

      • Exactly. They constantly bring up the identities of shooters when it’s politically convenient. Then they use excuses to hide the identities of others long enough for a different news cycle to take over.

        You can’t legitimately claim that you don’t want to encourage other shooters by hiding certain identities when you constantly bring up mass shootings and “assault rifles.” That is what encourages this behavior.

    • “Anyhoo…I’m glad nobody else other than the shooter was reportedly killed in this incident.”

      Agreed, on that point.

      “And I’m also glad the authorities have (so far) chosen to not reveal the shooter’s identity.”

      I’m glad they did, since it pointed out that it was a dangerously mentally-ill individual who thought itself was a woman. Ring that bell loudly and as long as possible about the danger of that ideology…

  4. Who hit the bystanders and little girl, the woman or the off duty cops? I mean, good job taking her down, but that’s no good if she missed everyone but the defenders caused the collateral damage….

        • OK, fine. Brass tacks — the off-duty cops working as church security shot the child, who is not expected to survive.

          And you know what? I don’t have a problem with that. In fact, I say, “Good job, and thank you, gentlemen.”

          I’m sure they don’t feel great about how it turned out. They should, because they saved a whole lotta lives.

  5. I’d shy away from using the Texas Tribune as a news source — they’re biased, a fact which is stated in their policies.

    “The Texas Tribune’s mission drives the values and guidelines set out in our code of ethics, which borrows generously from the policies set by other fine nonprofit news organizations like ProPublica, NPR and the Center for Investigative Reporting.”

    “The Texas Tribune is committed to including diverse sources in our coverage and incorporating voices that represent the state’s diversity of race, ethnicity, class, generation, gender, sexual orientation and geography. We believe the better we can reflect Texas, the more nuanced our journalism.”

    “…we frequently collaborate on other nonprofit news organizations. Some cover specific subjects: Inside Climate News, The Marshall Project, Public Health Watch and The Trace.”

  6. Suicide by cop, is my guess. Or maybe the worst shot in history…

    Armed resistance reduces casualties.

    Further, anti-selfdefense can add this one to their database of mass shootings that were not stopped by a gun – because only 1 person died, therefore not a mass shooting.
    Yeah, they really record them that way sometimes.

  7. The shooter has been identified and my theory that any shooter not publicly identified within 24 hours is trans has survived yet another test.

    It was a dude named Jeffery, pretending to be a woman, who had “free Palestine,” written on his rifle.

  8. Was the shooter a h0m 0 sexu@l?
    Was the shooter muslim?
    Was the shooter an atheist?
    Was the shooter a Bernie Sanders supporter?

    somebody needs to be asking some uncomfortable questions and getting some answers. Hopefully “they” will not bury this, like they buried the g@y shooter manifesto at the Nashville Church school.

  9. Doing the work that American media can’t be bothered with:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13074137/Harrowing-video-shows-worshippers-fleeing-Joel-Osteens-small-kids-two-duty-cops-battle-female-shooter-opened-fire-congregation.html

    — Lakewood Church Pro-Palestine gunwoman, Genesse Moreno, 36, shot dead in Joel Osteen congregation in Texas had ‘Free Palestine’ scrawled on her AR-15
    — The shooter has been identified as Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36, who previously used the name Jeffrey
    — She entered the church with a five-year-old boy who was critically injured
    — A 57-year-old man was also shot but is expected to survive

    • … and the “little girl” that was shot, is actually a “little boy.” Just goes to show you that some types of mental illness are contagious.

  10. Where did the five-year-old boy come from? The shooter entered the building with him, but was this some how the shooters child or was it someone else’s child? No one has made any mention of the shooter someway being the ‘parent’ of the child.

    The shooter was transgendered, male > female, so can’t birth children (thank goodness). Was the child: ‘adopted’? Borrowed? Abducted? From friends or relatives? Was already at the church outside and was grabbed and then bought in?

  11. So the shooter is another one of those t®@nn¥s, an Anti-Semite (had “Free Palestine” scrawled on the gun) AND a crimmigrant (Honduran) with a criminal record, what’s up with that and why are the poleece saying she’s a “he” and “White”?

  12. The mainstream media and Democratic politicians are extremely disappointed that nobody died, other than the shooter him/herself.
    They are always hoping for a high body count.
    And the liberals who are speaking about it are claiming, “A toddler was injured.”
    First of all, five-year-olds are not toddlers and are never called toddlers.
    Second, the only reason the child was injured was because the evil shooter brought that child to the scene of the crime where s/he intended to do the shooting, possibly as a human shield, and then a cop shot the child while targeting the shooter.
    News reports said, “It is unclear at this time who fired the shots that wounded the man or the child,” and FYI, whenever a news report says, “It is unclear at this time who fired the shots” that hit innocent bystanders, that always, ALWAYS means that cops fired the errant shots.
    After all, cops are such “highly trained professionals” that they practice shooting once a year whether they need it or not!

    • Yeah what ever happened to thaaat ie. “Going Postal”? I guess the Vietnam Era vets are too old and have all retired rendering them incapable of continuing the tradition of holding supervisors and employees who discriminated against them, the veterans, accountable.

    • Yeah funny thaaaat, a “White Non-Hispanic” from El Salvador, what are the odds? No doubt the FEEBs had ultimate authority over crafting THAT description.

  13. Need more evidence, facts before making a judgement.
    Good on the off duty cops being on hand and preventing this from becoming a much larger disaster.
    What is the child’s relation is what I want to know.

  14. Where’s “Dacian”? No doubt he’s (I’m being charitable) furiously reviewing the talking points BloomBOIG provided him this afternoon and scouring the ‘net looking for other’s contributions to plagarize in order to demonize us as “t®@ns¶hobi©” and “®@©ist”.

    • All of his posts get moderated, so he keeps re-posting them. Then we suddenly get a shit-storm of his rantings, repeated three or four times.

  15. I like these people angry at churches.
    For whatever reason they can’t bring themselves to blame the FDA, EPA, multi-trillion dollar global corps flooding the environment, food and water with artificial endocrine disrupting chemicals in literally ALL THE THINGS for their injuries and malformations but they instead go after those churchy folk for not embracing their lifestyle that is a byproduct of this generational chemical poisoning.

    This nonsense will go down as the greatest get-out-of-jail swindle in history.

    The lawyers will line up and encourage you to sue for dirty base water and asbestos. They’re just now starting to go after the BPA, PFOA and glyphosate manufacturers which are in part endocrine disrupting chemicals. The clocks ticking on going after them for exacerbating the LGBTQ boom with their frankenchems. If they can convince you all it’s not something they did to you they just might get away with it and make a shitload of money in the process.

  16. 1:53pm Moreno got out of her white vehicle, holding the 7-year-old child and a bag. She then confronted a security officer at gunpoint to get in, police said. A .22 caliber rifle was inside the bag.

    Chief Finner said Moreno is the child’s biological mother.

    1:55 p.m.: Moreno immediately started firing, officials said. An HPD officer was there and returned fire. She and the child fell to the ground in the hall. The child was shot in the head.

    The shootout between officers and the suspect lasted less than 12 minutes, HPD said.

  17. so it appears
    that were now living in the jurassic park movie
    where (social) scientists have created a bunch of monsters “that are out now”
    except in this alternate ending version
    instead of them devouring everybody
    they just devour the political enemies of the scientists
    and until a “lysine contingency” can be developed for this particular species of monster
    we may have to rely on the “5.56/7.62×39 contingency”

  18. So, a wanna be Jihadist shows up at a church, gets capped by security and the kid it brought along stops a round or two. This is a big deal how? Move on people. Nothing else here to look at.

  19. Of course the Far Right hides the real truth about Capitalvania under the jackboot of Republican slavery and oppression for the worker troglodyte slaves.

    1. Criminal Republican Jackboots have blocked Universal Health Care which would provide for mental health care for the people who need it most i.e. the poor and or unemployed. 150,000 worker troglodyte slaves die every year because they cannot even afford preventive health care.

    Republican gangster criminals regard life as cheap and expendable in Capitalvania.

    2. Have blocked government subsidies to working mothers for child care.

    3. Have promoted right to work laws in Hillbilly States which bust Unions resulting in wages so low people cannot live on them.

    4. Have prevented workers from forming Unions to get Company paid health care, vacations and retirement benefits.

    5. Have actually been behind the hiring of illegal immigrants so companies can pay slave wages with no benefits and bust Unions that pay wages that enable people to pay their bills.

    6. Have promoted racism and xenophobia against Jews, Muslims, Blacks and Oriental American citizens.

    7. Have blocked restrictions on assault rifles which are weapons of war.

    8. Have blocked Red Flag laws at the Federal Level

    9. Have blocked mandatory mental tests before purchasing a deadly weapon

    10. Have blocked safe storage laws which would save 1,300 children lives each year (1,650 children were gunned down in 2023)

    11. Have blocked waiting periods

    12. Have blocked Universal Background Checks.

    Show me the difference between Hiller’s or Trump’s jackbooted candlelight marching Charlottesville Nazi Thugs. There is none, they all believe in the teachings of Mein Kampf which Trump has kept by his bedside for years according to the statement of his own wife.

    13. Have praised Herr Drump’s Jackbooted Stormtroopers that stormed the Capitol on Jan 6th trying to install Herr Drumpf as dictator for life just as Hitler attempted to do in his 1923 beer hall putsch. History repeated itself and the Far Right fell and worshiped at Herr Drumpfs Jackbootes licking them clean.

  20. Saw an interview today with Chuck Holton talking to a former Secret Service agent that now has a specialty of training church security folks and staff.

    They both said Osteen needs to shut the hell up about ‘it would have been much worse’ if the shooter had hit the 11 o’clock service. There are copycats out there that this bit of information, along with the little bit of a shove of the media attention, MAY be just enough to tip them off of the fence to try THEIR hand at the next incident…

    And there WILL be more incidents. You can bet your newly created gun control bills on it.

    • “They both said Osteen needs to shut the hell up about ‘it would have been much worse’ if the shooter had hit the 11 o’clock service. There are copycats out there that this bit of information”

      Because if one were planning a shooting at a church, it would be impossible to find out when the church holds services. It’s not like they’d be published on the church website or anything like that. Megachurches always hold their services in secret and none of the thousands who attend will divulge that information. Yeah … no.

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