By Trend News Line 2024-02-12 22:28:04.
Shooter with History of Mental Illness Opens Fire at Texas Megachurch, Critically Injuring Child
A shooting incident at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, on Sunday has left the community in shock. The shooter, identified as Genesse Ivonne Moreno, opened fire at the megachurch before being killed by security officers. The attack also critically injured Moreno’s 7-year-old son.
During a news conference, Houston police Commander Chris Hassig revealed that Moreno, 36, had a history of mental illness and used an AR-style rifle in the attack. Hassig also disclosed that Moreno sometimes used both male and female aliases, but investigators confirmed through interviews and past police reports that Moreno identified as female.
Authorities stated that Moreno had been placed under emergency detention in 2016 due to her mental health condition, but no further details were provided. Houston Police Chief Troy Finner announced that it was still too early to determine the motive behind the shooting. However, officials indicated that they were looking into a dispute involving Moreno and the family of her ex-husband. Investigators also discovered antisemitic writings by the shooter.
Moreno’s rifle had a “Palestine” sticker on the buttstock, according to Hassig. He described Moreno as a “lone wolf” who did not have any affiliation with a larger group. Police conducted a search at Moreno’s residence in Conroe, located approximately 40 miles north of Houston.
The shooting took place at 1:55 p.m. when Moreno entered the church building and began firing after pointing a gun at an unarmed security guard. Off-duty Houston police officer Christopher Moreno and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Agent Adrian Herrera, who were serving as guards inside the building, quickly returned fire and killed Genesse Moreno. The gun battle lasted several minutes but was contained within a church hallway, with no violence spreading into the main sanctuary.
The officers discharged their weapons, but it is yet unknown if Moreno’s son was accidentally shot by one of them, according to Finner. The young boy remains in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head. Another individual, a 57-year-old man who was shot in the hip during the incident, has been discharged from the hospital.
Although the shooter claimed there was a bomb, a thorough search revealed no explosives. Lakewood Church, with a weekly attendance of 45,000 people, is the third-largest megachurch in the United States.
Pastor Joel Osteen, who took over leadership of Lakewood Church after his father’s passing, expressed gratitude that the shooting did not occur during the larger late Sunday morning service. Worshippers inside the church were terrified by the sound of gunfire, with one member describing the moment as “boom, boom, boom, boom.”
Osteen, a leading promoter of the prosperity gospel, has seen the church grow significantly under his guidance. His televised services reach approximately 100 countries, and the recent renovation of the church’s arena cost nearly $100 million.
The tragic incident at Lakewood Church has left the community mourning and searching for answers. As authorities continue their investigation, the focus remains on supporting the injured child and understanding the motives behind this devastating act of violence..
1. Shooter entered Texas megachurch with young son and used AR-style rifle in the attack, police say
2. Shooter attacked Texas megachurch with AR-style rifle, accompanied by young son, according to police.