Megachurch Shooter Brought Child & AR-15 To Crime

Between services at Joel Osteen’s megachurch, Lakewood Church, in Texas, a gunman opened fire. The shooting, which began with a woman entering the vestibule with an AR-15 assault rifle and escalated into a gunfight with two off-duty police officers, was carried out by Genesse Ivonne Moreno, who had a history of mental illness. The mother brought her young son to the scene of the crime.

Moreno, the gunman who entered the church while wearing a trenchcoat, caught the attention of Houston police as a potential threat.

Investigators discovered Moreno to identify as a female while using both male and female identities.

Worshippers at the Houston megachurch, which was located in a former NBA arena, were sent scurrying for cover when the assault occurred in the middle of services.

On Monday, Moreno’s critically wounded 7-year-old son remained in the hospital, shot in the head during crossfire.

The cops who shot and killed Moreno had no connection to Osteen’s church.

Authorities are still trying to piece together what led up to the shooting, but they are investigating a feud between Moreno and her ex-husband’s family. Authorities said that Moreno was a “lone wolf.”

With Moreno’s former in-laws being Jewish, investigators subsequently found antisemitic writings by the gunman. Conroe, Moreno’s hometown, located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of the church, was the site of the search by the police.

In 2022, during a divorce and child custody dispute, Moreno’s ex-mother-in-law reportedly sought counsel from pastoral staff at Lakewood, according to court documents. This could be a clue as to why the megachurch was chosen. A “Palestine” sticker adorned the buttstock of the firearm as well.

The weapon used in the assault in December seems to have been lawfully acquired by Moreno, and detectives are trying to figure out how she got his hands on it.

Jeffery Escalante-Moreno, or Jeffery Escalante, was the name under which Moreno was accused of six felony offenses between 2005 and 2011, according to records in Harris County, where Houston is situated.