HOUSTON — Heavy police presence can be seen surrounding Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Texas after reports of an active shooter on Sunday.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to a possible shooting at the megachurch in southwest Houston near the Southwest Freeway shortly after 2 p.m.
The 2 p.m. Spanish-speaking service had just begun when chaos erupted. A witness told Eyewitness News that she heard several shots being fired while in the choir room.
The 2 p.m. Spanish-speaking service was about to begin when chaos erupted. A witness told Eyewitness News that she heard several shots being fired while in the choir room.
“The whole church started praying and declaring Jesus’ name,” she said. “I was like, ‘This might be the last time I get to pray, that I get to glorify the name of Jesus, so I’m going to do this.'”
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said a possible suspect was shot by authorities. There is no immediate word on the condition of that possible suspect.
It is unclear if there is more than one suspect or if anyone else has been detained.
The church, which has an average attendance of 45,000 people, was in the middle of a live stream service when shots could be heard going off in the background.
ABC13 crews were at the church where crowds of people, including children, could be seen evacuating the worship center.
Churchgoers are being told to go to Lifetime Fitness at 1 Healthy Way in the Greenway Plaza area to reunite with families after several were separated amid the havoc.
Video shared with Eyewitness News shows a perspective from inside the church when rapid gunfire can be heard, and people begin to scurry.
One man said he heard 20 to 30 gunshots when he ran out of the megachurch with his three young daughters. Authorities have not confirmed how many shots were fired or if there are any injuries.
The Houston Police Department warns drivers to avoid the area. As of 3 p.m., the Southwest Freeway feeder road near Edloe Street was closed as authorities continued to investigate.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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