HOUSTON - A woman is dead, and two others were injured following a "tragic day" in Houston at Lakewood Church.
According to Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner, the shooting occurred just before 2 p.m. Sunday when the woman, said to be 30 to 35 years old, walked into the property on the west side of the church from the parking lot.
Upon entering the building, Finner said the woman was armed with a long rifle, a trench coat and backpack. She was also accompanied by a small child approximately four to five years old.
At some point, authorities said, the woman began to fire.
Two law enforcement officers – a TABC agent with four years of service and HPD officer with two years of service – who were working off-duty, quickly engaged the woman, striking her.
The shooter was pronounced dead at the scene.
The young child that accompanied the shooter was shot and taken to Texas Children's Hospital in critical condition. A 57-year-old man was also shot in the leg and is said to be in stable condition.
After the officers engaged, she stated that she had a bomb. Authorities searched her vehicle and backpack, but no explosives were found.
Finner stated the woman also allegedly spread some type of substance on the ground. HAZMAT crews were called to the scene, along with decontamination units, and determined they haven't found anything of concern to the community or location.
Authorities said this was an insolated incident, and they checked the building for any additional risks.
The shooter has not been identified.
A raid by multiple law enforcement agencies at a Conroe home on Sunday night may be linked to the investigation. It's unclear what, if anything, was found.
Lakewood Church Pastor Joel Osteen released a statement on Sunday evening saying, "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."
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has already released a statement saying,
"Our hearts are with those impacted by today's tragic shooting and the entire Lakewood Church community in Houston. Places of worship are sacred. I have been in contact with Mayor Whitmire and offered the full support and resources of the State of Texas, including Department of Public Safety officers and Texas Rangers, to help this community and help bring swift justice to the criminal who committed this heinous act. Join Cecilia and me in praying for this community during this difficult time and for the brave men and women in blue who acted quickly to respond to this tragedy."
In a tweet on social media, Lakewood Church called on everyone to "please pray for Lakewood and our community."
In a tweet, Texas Democrats issued a statement following the shooting saying, "Today's shooting at Lakewood Church is yet another example of the danger and trauma that reckless gun laws have bestowed upon our communities. No place of worship, shopping center, classroom, or shared public space is safe under the leadership of those that place the gun lobby over Texans' safety. We are praying for the injured and all those impacted by this senseless act of violence. Texans do not deserve to live in fear of a shooting at any time, and as more details emerge - we are grateful for the swift response of first responders under Mayor Whitmire's leadership."
We will continue to follow the latest on this breaking news story. Stay tuned to FOX 26 and FOX26Houston.com for the very latest.