Shooting at Texas Megachurch Leaves Shooter Dead, 5-Year-Old Boy Critically Injured

Houston, Texas – Authorities in Houston, Texas revealed on Monday that the young boy critically injured in a shooting at a Texas megachurch was the son of the shooter. The shooter, identified as 36-year-old Genesse Ivonne Moreno, used an AR-style rifle before being killed by off-duty officers working security at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church.

It was disclosed that Moreno had a history of mental illness, including being placed under emergency detention in 2016. However, investigators had not yet determined the shooter’s motive.

The police informed that Moreno’s son remained in critical condition on Monday with a gunshot wound to the head. The shooter was killed after pointing the weapon at the security officers, according to the affidavit.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner stated that the shooter wore a trench coat and backpack and was armed with a long rifle when they entered the church. Moreno began shooting before being confronted by two off-duty officers — a Houston police officer and a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agent, who returned fire, Finner said.

Finner and other authorities at the scene praised the officers for taking down the shooter. It was also unclear how the boy was struck by gunfire, but Finner said, “That suspect put that baby in danger.”

Joel Osteen, the leader of Lakewood Church, is known for his televised services that reach about 100 countries and for promoting the prosperity gospel. The church, regularly attended by 45,000 people weekly, is the third-largest megachurch in the U.S., according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. The church’s central campus is a renovated building once known as The Summit, or Compaqu Center, the former arena home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.