‘Evil will not prevail!’ Joel Osteen says he’s ‘devastated’ by shooting at his 45,000-seat Houston megachurch that saw female shooter killed and five-year-old boy critically injured – as cops raid house connected to suspect

Celebrity pastor Joel Osteen said he was “devastated” by the shooting at his Houston megachurch on Sunday, which sent worshipers rushing to safety as two off-duty officers confronted and killed the shooter.

Two other people were shot and injured, including a 5-year-old boy who was hospitalized in critical condition.

In a statement posted to X on Sunday night, Osteen wrote his ‘community is devastated by today’s events and grateful for the swift action of law enforcement.’

“In the face of such darkness, we must hold on to our faith and remember that evil will not prevail,” he added. ‘God will guide us through the darkest times. Together we will rise above this tragedy and stand firm in our commitment to love and support each other.’

Houston police and FBI agents were seen in Conroe Sunday night, with KEEP reports that there is a home in the neighborhood with a connection to the shooting, although authorities would not comment on what they were looking for or how they ended up there.

Celebrity pastor Joel Osteen said he was

Celebrity pastor Joel Osteen said he was “devastated” by the shooting at his Houston megachurch on Sunday, which sent worshipers rushing to safety as two off-duty officers confronted and killed the shooter.

Houston police and FBI agents were seen in Conroe Sunday night, with KHOU reporting that there is a home in the neighborhood with a tie from the shooting

Houston police and FBI agents were seen in Conroe Sunday night, with KHOU reporting that there is a home in the neighborhood with a tie from the shooting

Details of the confrontation remain unclear in the hours after the tragedy, and police have not released the woman’s identity or a possible motive.

It is also unknown what relationship, if any, the woman had with the boy, and who actually shot him and the man.

The suspect entered the building with the five-year-old boy shortly before 14:00 and the child was shot and critically wounded.

Police Chief Troy Finner said it was not clear whether the young child was hit by the officers — a 28-year-old Houston police officer and a 38-year-old agent with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission — who returned fire.

Finner said after the woman started shooting, both officers “grabbed” her and the woman died.

He praised the officers for quickly confronting the woman, adding: ‘She had a long gun, and it could have been a lot worse.’

The child was in critical condition after being taken to a hospital. The man who was wounded in his hip was stable.

The shooting happened between services at the megachurch regularly attended by 45,000 people each week, making it the third largest megachurch in the US, according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. Osteen’s televised sermons reach approximately 100 countries.

FBI agents gathered around the Conroe neighborhood Sunday night

FBI agents gathered around the Conroe neighborhood Sunday night

Emergency vehicles line the feeder road outside Lakewood Church during a reported active shooter incident

Emergency vehicles line the feeder road outside Lakewood Church during a reported active shooter incident

A woman in a trench coat entered the Houston megachurch of celebrity pastor Joel Osteen and opened fire Sunday afternoon and was killed by two off-duty officers working security, police said.

A woman in a trench coat entered the Houston megachurch of celebrity pastor Joel Osteen and opened fire Sunday afternoon and was killed by two off-duty officers working security, police said.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said it was not clear whether the young child was hit by the off-duty officers who returned fire.  He said a 57-year-old man was also shot and wounded

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said it was not clear whether the young child was hit by the off-duty officers who returned fire. He said a 57-year-old man was also shot and wounded

It was not clear where Osteen was at the time, but he joined police at a news conference afterward and said the church was “devastated.”

He added that the shooting could have been much worse had it occurred during the larger 11 a.m. service.

He added that he would pray for the victims and for the woman who did the shooting and their families.

“We’re going to stay strong and we’re going to continue to move forward,” Osteen said after authorities spoke.

‘There are forces of evil, but the forces that are for us – the forces of God – are stronger than that. So we’re going to continue to be strong and fair, you know, do what God called us to do: lift people up and give hope to the world.’

Witnesses told reporters they heard multiple gunshots shortly before the church’s 2 p.m. Spanish-language service was to begin.

Christina Rodriguez, who was inside the church, told Houston television station KTRK that she “started yelling, ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,'” and then she and others ran into the back of a library the building, then stood in a stairwell before being told it was safe to leave.

People stood outside the building as authorities evacuated the church.

Carlos Gonzalez, a worship singer, hugs a fellow churchgoer after the shooting

Carlos Gonzalez, a worship singer, hugs a fellow churchgoer after the shooting

The shooter entered the Houston church with a 5-year-old boy shortly before 2 p.m., and the child was shot and critically wounded

The shooter entered the Houston church with a 5-year-old boy shortly before 2 p.m., and the child was shot and critically wounded

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said officers responded to a possible shooting at Joel Osteen's Lakewood church in Houston, Texas shortly after 2 p.m.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said officers responded to a possible shooting at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood church in Houston, Texas shortly after 2 p.m.

Members of the Houston Police Department bomb squad respond to a shooting at Lakewood Church

Members of the Houston Police Department bomb squad respond to a shooting at Lakewood Church

Officials later announced that a reunification center had been set up for people to find their loved ones at a nearby fitness center.

Witness Paula Laverde said: ‘So at first there was one shot and then there was a set of shots and then we started running and then there were several sets of shots, I can’t really count them, it was at least five times that shot them several times.’

Longtime church member Alan Guity, whose family is from Honduras, said he was resting in the church’s sanctuary before the 2 p.m. service as his mother worked as an usher when he heard gunshots.

“Boom, boom, boom, boom and I yelled, “Mom,”” he said.

The 35-year-old ran to his mother and they both lay flat on the floor and prayed as the gunfire continued. They stayed there for about five minutes until someone told them it was safe to evacuate.

Outside, Guity said, he and his mother tried to calm people by worshiping and singing in Spanish: “Move in me, move in me.” Touch my mind and my heart. Move in my Holy Spirit.’

Guity was one of the many parishioners who waited to be allowed back to their vehicles on Sunday night as police continued to search the building. The church is located in what used to be an arena where the NBA’s Houston Rockets played years ago.

The church said in a statement: ‘There is an active situation with shots fired at Lakewood. Law enforcement officers are on the scene. This is all the information we currently have. Please pray for Lakewood and our community.’

Houston police officers watch over displaced churchgoers outside Lakewood Church,

Houston police officers watch over displaced churchgoers outside Lakewood Church,

Worshipers could be seen leaving the building as authorities evacuated the church ahead of the news conference

Worshipers could be seen leaving the building as authorities evacuated the church ahead of the news conference

Officials announced that a reunification center had been set up at a nearby gym so people could find their loved ones

Officials announced that a reunification center had been set up at a nearby gym so people could find their loved ones

At least 20 police and fire trucks were near one of the church's entrances on Sunday afternoon, including the fire department's hazardous materials truck

At least 20 police and fire trucks were near one of the church’s entrances on Sunday afternoon, including the fire department’s hazardous materials truck

One witness said he heard about 30 shots as he ran out of the church with his daughters.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said ‘our hearts go out to those affected by today’s tragic shooting and the entire Lakewood Church community in Houston. Places of worship are sacred.’

At least 20 police and fire trucks were near one of the church’s entrances on Sunday afternoon, including the fire department’s hazardous materials truck.

Finner said it was reported that the woman had a bomb, but no explosives were found when her vehicle and backpack were searched.

Worshipers could be seen leaving the building as authorities evacuated the church ahead of the news conference.

Officials announced that a reunification center had been set up at a nearby gym so people could find their loved ones.