‘Everyone started to panic’: Small children separated from parents during shooting at Lakewood Church

HOUSTON – Parents who were separated from their children after a shooting sent many into panic and running for cover are now reunited.

Witnesses say the shooting happened in between services, while the band was warming up.

Lakewood church has a daycare where parents can drop off their children. When the shooting happened, witnesses say people ran for cover, and couldn’t find their children.

SWAT officers, and church employees escorted the children to a reunification area.

Children walked out single file, holding onto a tow rope.

It was a frantic scene for many parents.

One mother who was separated from her baby spoke with KPRC 2′s Corley Peel:

Hundreds of people evacuated the church. Children were seen walking out, holding hands. Some parents, like Vanessa, could not get to their children

“I was inside with my husband and they were at the daycare so we are still waiting for my baby. The others have been released and the other baby, three months old, is inside,” said Vanessa.

Vanessa and other families were moved away. They were told to pick up their children at Lifetime Fitness near the church. KPRC 2 caught up with Vanessa as she reunited with her baby.

“I have my two babies now. I feel great. But believe me I was panicked after everything,” she said.

Vanessa said she is holding her babies extra tight tonight

About the Authors:

Award-winning broadcast journalist covering local, regional, national and international stories. Recognized in the industry for subject matter expertise including: Legal/Court Research, the Space Industry, Education, Environmental Issues, Underserved Populations and Data Visualization.

Corley Peel is a Texas native and Texas Tech graduate who covered big stories in Joplin, Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Jacksonville, Florida before returning to the Lone Star State. When not reporting, Corley enjoys hot yoga, Tech Football, and finding the best tacos in town.