Lakewood Church shooting in Houston: New details released regarding shooter

The Houston Police Department and Mayor John Whitmire, along with other agencies, released more information on the shooter in the Lakewood Church shooting. The shooter was identified as Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36.

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According to Houston Police Department Homicide Division commander, Chris Hassig, Moreno pointed a gun at an unarmed female security guard which allowed her to gain entrance to the West side of the church.

Moreno, wearing a trench coat, and a 7-year-old boy entered a church, produced an AR-15 rifle from under the coat, forced their way into the lobby, and began shooting. Hassig said Moreno began letting off rounds almost immediately after entering the church.

An HPD officer, who was off-duty and working an extra job at the location, heard the shooting and approached to investigate.  At that time, the officer exchanged gunfire with the suspect.

An off-duty TABC officer, also working an extra job at the location, approached the scene and saw the suspect and the HPD officer exchanging gunfire. The TABC officer also exchanged gunfire with the suspect.

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Moreno was struck multiple times. Houston Fire Department paramedics pronounced her deceased at the scene.

The 7-year-old boy, who was Moreno's son, was with her during the shooting and was shot in the crossfire. Houston Police Chief, Troy Finner said, "the 7-year-old boy is still in critical condition, and we are sending prayers to his family".

Finner also said a 57-year-old man was shot in the crossfire but was released and is in stable condition. 

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One adult male, 57, suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds and was transported to an area hospital in stable condition.

Moreno had two guns with her at the time of the shooting but only used the AR-15 with a Palestine sticker on the butt of the gun. The other gun was a .22 caliber handgun and was in her backpack at the time of the shooting. 

Hassig said Moreno was not found to be connected or associated with any groups and acted alone.

Officials said they were able to find more information about Moreno in her home after a search warrant was conducted by the FBI Monday morning. They found antisemitic writings and also other evidence connected to the shooting.  

Hassig said Moreno's husband's family is Jewish, and she was reported to have issues with his family. 

Investigators also learned Moreno did use multiple names, such as Jeffery, and changed her sex on multiple occasions, but is a female.  

She also had a lengthy criminal history that is being investigated since she was able to obtain a gun before having run-ins with police. 


Finner said both deputies were wearing body cams during the shooting and their footage is also part of the investigation. 

Mayor Whitmire has asked for prayers for the victims, the officers involved in the shooting, and the investigating agencies.

Whitmire said the scene was chaotic, but the community was united.

"People should not blame and point fingers at a time like this, but rather come together", said Whitmire.  

Finner said Lakewood Church pastor, Joel Osteen, was scheduled to attend the presser today but had other commitments connected to his church and congregation.