A woman has gunned down a “small child” inside US televangelist Pastor Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch.
Houston Police Chief Froy Finner said the woman, aged about 35, entered the church armed with a long rifle and opened fire.
The woman, wearing a trench coat and a backpack, began firing the weapon, Chief Finner said.
She was accompanied by a small child.
A 57-year-old man was shot in the leg.
A Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agent and an off-duty Houston Police Department officer returned fire and the woman died.
The five-year-old boy was also hit and is in a critical condition, Chief Finner added.
The woman had stated she was carrying a “bomb” before she was shot, however no explosives were found. She was also spraying a “substance” on the ground during the incident, he said.
Pastor Osteen said he was “devastated” about the incident.
“We’ve been here 65 years, to have someone shooting in your church,” he said.
“We have no idea why these things happen, but we know God’s in control.
“We’re going to pray for that little five-year-old boy. Pray for the lady that was deceased, her family and all.
“I don’t know, it’s kind of in a fog,” he added, characterising it as a battle between the forces of “good and evil”.
The incident happened before the main 11am service on Sunday.
The church was in-between services and was about to start the Spanish service, when the incident took place.