Texas | Two injured in shooting at famous megachurch, assailant shot dead

(Houston) Two people, including a five-year-old boy, were injured by a woman who opened fire, before being shot dead, in the megachurch of famous pastor and televangelist Joel Osteen, in Texas, one of the most major religious temples in the United States, police announced Sunday.

Armed with a rifle and accompanied by a child, the attacker burst into the church, a former indoor stadium with a capacity of 16,800, around 2 p.m. (3 p.m. Eastern Time), said during a press conference Houston Police Chief Troy Finner.

The woman started shooting, but off-duty police officers at the scene quickly returned fire and killed her, he added.

A five-year-old child is “in critical condition” in hospital, and a man in his fifties was shot in the leg, the police chief continued.

The attack took place between two religious services, just before the start of the service in Spanish, said Pastor Osteen, 60, whose sermons broadcast live on television are watched by millions of people each week.

He said he was “distraught” by the shooting. “I can’t imagine if this had happened during the 11 a.m. service… We thank God for that,” he told a news conference, adding that he would pray for the victims and the attacker.

Pastor John Osteen founded his church in 1959, which has no particular denomination and aims to be apolitical and charismatic.

With more guns than people, the United States has the highest gun death rate of any developed country.

Shootings are a recurring scourge that successive governments have so far been powerless to stem, with many Americans remaining very attached to their guns.

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