Suspect Identified in Lakewood Church Shooting As Gennesse Ivonne Moreno


Authorities in Houston, Texas, have named the shooter who opened fire in Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church on Sunday as 36-year-old Genesse Ivonne Moreno, of El Salvador.

Moreno has a long criminal history and has gone by the name Jeffrey Escalante Moreno, prior to this, police say.

The shooter was fatally shot following off-duty police officers at the church reacting to the incident. Authorities say that two people were hurt, a 57-year-old man and a child who was with the shooter.

Although the shooter has been named as a woman and the biological mother of the 7-year-old child, it was first suggested that the shooter was transgender.

Documents show that Moreno aimed an AR-15 at officers, causing them to shoot and kill her in self-defense. Detectives later revealed that “Palestine” was written on the weapon.

Moreno’s previous convictions include assaulting a police officer in 2009 and forgery in 2010.

On Monday, several law enforcement agencies were seen combing through a property in Conroe, close to Houston. It is thought that the property is Moreno’s home.

The shooting started on Sunday, at about 2 pm., just prior to the Houston church’s 2 p.m. Spanish service about to start.

Moreno went into the church with a long rifle as she wore a trench coat and had on a backpack. The child was with her, as well, police say.

Moreno was declared deceased at the scene after opening fire and off-duty officers returning fire. She was also found with a .22 caliber rifle. The child was shot in the head, and it is not expected that he will survive.

Detectives are now trying to determine how Moreno was able to buy two firearms, one of which was bought lawfully.

When a search of Moreno’s vehicle was conducted, anti-Semitic writings were discovered. Authorities haven’t disclosed what exactly was written, but it involved a familial disagreement related to Moreno’s former husband and his relatives. Some of them are Jewish, authorities say.

Joel Osteen has responded by saying that he is “devastated” by the shooting.

“We don’t understand why all these things happened, but we know God’s in control,” Osteen remarked.

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