(MENAFN) Law enforcement authorities rushed to the scene following reports of an active shooter at Lakewood Church, a large evangelical congregation in Houston, Texas, on Sunday. The church, led by pastor Joel Osteen, issued a brief statement on social media confirming the ongoing situation and requesting prayers for the church and the community. Harris Sheriff Ed Gonzalez later confirmed on social media that the shooter had been taken down by law enforcement, without immediately specifying if there were additional injuries.
The incident reportedly occurred as the Spanish-speaking service was about to commence at 2 pm, with witnesses recounting that multiple gunshots were fired. One eyewitness told ABC13 News that he heard between 20 to 30 gunshots before fleeing the building. Lakewood Church, founded in 1959 by Pastor John Osteen and currently overseen by his son Joel, is one of the largest congregations in the country, with an average attendance of 45,000 people.
The unfolding situation raises concerns about the safety of worshippers and the broader community, prompting heightened security measures and a swift response from law enforcement. As details continue to emerge, the incident at Lakewood Church underscores the vulnerability of public spaces and religious institutions, prompting a broader discussion on ensuring security in places of worship across the nation.
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