HOUSTON — An armed woman was killed Sunday after walking into Lakewood Church and opening fire, according to police.
Multiple independent sources tell KHOU 11’s Jeremy Rogalski that Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36, was wearing a trench coat and a backpack when she entered the church with a child and a long rifle. The child was also shot and was taken to a hospital in critical condition, police said.
Moreno had a criminal history dating back to 2005, and previously identified as Jeffery Escalante, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety records search. Prior arrests include failure to stop and give information, assault of a public servant, assault causing bodily injury, forgery, possession of marijuana, theft, evading arrest unlawful carrying weapon.
Lakewood Church Shooter Had Pro-Palestinian Message Written on Gun, Sources Tell ABC News
Further detail about what exactly the message read was not released. The investigation into the motive of the shooting is still ongoing.
Overnight, agents with the FBI, Texas Rangers, and ATF raided a Conroe home believed to be connected to the suspect. Video from the scene shows a large law enforcement presence.
“We don’t understand why these things happen, but we know that God is in control. We’re going to pray for that little 5-year-old boy, and pray for the lady that was deceased and her family and all, and the other gentleman,” Pastor Joel Osteen said.
According to the warrant, Moreno, who is transgender and identified as a woman, walked into the church with an AR-15 rifle. The person, also brought their young son with them to the church.
NBC News reports that the rifle had the word “Palestine” written on it, according to two senior law enforcement officials briefed on the matter. The person also made several statements during the course of the incident but the officials declined to describe them.