On Super Bowl Sunday, Feb 11, Genesse Ivonne Moreno opened fire at Joel Osteen‘s Lakewood megachurch in Houston. An off-duty police officer killed Moreno at the scene, while another man was shot in the leg, and Moreno’s son was critically injured. Here’s how Osteen responded after the incident.
Osteen’s remarks came at a press briefing from Houston law enforcement. Osteen began by complimenting emergency responders and the off-duty police officers working security at Lakewood when the shooting happened. Fortunately, the gunfire erupted around 11 am, as the Spanish language service was about to begin. Lakewood is among the largest megachurches in the U.S., with around 45,000 people attending weekly services.
Osteen called for prayer
via KPRC 2 Click2 Houston/YouTube
In his comments, Osteen added that everyone at Lakewood church was devastated. “We’ve been here 65 years, and to have somebody shooting in your church, we don’t understand why these things happen, but we know God’s in control,” Osteen said. John Osteen, Joel’s father, founded Lakewood Baptist Church in 1959. Joel took over four decades later.
Osteen then called for prayer for Moreno’s 7-year-old son, who was reportedly shot in the head. Early reports estimated he could have been as young as 4 or 5. Osteen also said he’d pray for Moreno, the woman killed, and the 57-year-old congregant injured. A woman inside Lakewood said Osteen was greeting congregants after the morning service when the shooting happened.
“Stay strong,” Osteen said
via Joel Osteen/X
In his remarks after the Lakewood shooting, Osteen also called for his congregants to stay strong. “We’re going to continue to move forward, and there are forces of evil, but the forces that are for us, the forces of God, are stronger than that. We’re going to continue to give hope to the world … I can only imagine if it had happened during the 11 o’clock service … if there’s anything good of it, she didn’t get in there and do a whole lot worse damage,” the televangelist said.