‘I’m gonna die:’ Witnesses describe fear and reactions after woman opens fire inside Lakewood Church

People outside Lakewood Church after shooting on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024. (Copyright 2024 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – People who were witnesses to the shooting at Houston’s Lakewood Church described a chaotic and fearful scene after a woman opened fire.

Witnesses said the shooting happened just before a 2 p.m. service was to begin.

“The band was practicing before the service so we hear like a shot, but we thought that was the band, but after that we hear two and three times more. After that, we saw that everyone was running, so we start to run on the back side and we just laid on the floor, we called 911 and we still hear maybe like 10 shots more,” a witness said.

The witness said she believed she was going to die when she heard the gunshots.

Paula Laverde was at the church and heard the shots ring out just before the service started.

“So there was one shot first and then there was a set of shots and then we started running and then there were multiple sets of shots, I can’t really count them, it was at least five times that they shot multiple times,” she said.

Laverde said despite the shooting, she is praying for the woman who did it.

“Honestly, I pray for whoever did this, I pray for that person and I pray that they find the Lord and they get to love the Lord because the Lord loves them,” she said.

Another woman who was inside the building said she had to take her high heels off so she could run when the shooting started.

“The people in the church were running,” she said. “One lady was so scared she fell down.”

She says she was scared, but also came to terms with whatever was going to happen.

“I was scared, but you know, God takes care of the people, so I told God if it is my time, it’s ok,” she said.

About the Author:

Christian Terry covered digital news in Tyler and Wichita Falls before returning to the Houston area where he grew up. He is passionate about weather and the outdoors and often spends his days off on the water fishing.