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Houston Lakewood Church shooting suspect identified as Conroe resident in search warrant

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HOUSTON - A search warrant has identified the suspect who was killed in the Lakewood Church shooting as Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36, of Conroe.

Houston Police Commander Christopher Hassig told KPRC 2 that there are some discrepancies as they have received reports that Moreno had used multiple alias, including Jeffrey Escalante. The suspect had used both female and male names but through the investigation and documents, HPD stated that it will identify Moreno as a Hispanic female.

The shooting was reported on Sunday around 2 p.m. inside the lobby of the mega-church, located at 3700 Southwest Freeway.

According to the warrant, Moreno walked into the church with an AR-15 rifle. The suspect also brought a young boy 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. It is unknown why the shooter had the word on the rifle and its relevance to the case. Moreno also made several statements during the incident but officials declined to describe those statements.

During the incident, officials said Moreno shot a man.

An off-duty Houston Police Department officer and a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officer engaged with the suspect, according to Houston Police Chief Troy Finner. The suspect reportedly told the officers they had a bomb.

One of the officers said they saw the suspect in possession of a "yellow in color rope and substances consistent with the manufacture of explosive devices, which appeared to be a detonation cord." Investigators have not been able to determine whether Moreno's threat of having a bomb was credible.

When Moreno pointed their weapon at the first responding officers, they shot and killed Moreno in self-defense, according to the document.

Pastor Joel Osteen said a 5-year-old boy was shot and another man was struck in the leg during the shooting. It is unknown who shot the child.

Police said the child was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

During the search warrant on Monday, investigators seized all electronic devices that belonged to Moreno in hopes they would reveal information or a motive related to the shooting.

During a news conference, officials said that she had mental health issues in the past.

Criminal history

According to court documents, Moreno has a criminal history in Texas dating back to 2005. It includes illegally carrying a weapon, failure to stop and give information, marijuana possession, forgery, and assault on a public servant.

In Fort Bend County, a charging document indicates, Katy police arrested Moreno on April 2, 2022.

Moreno was accused of intentionally or knowingly carry on or about her person handgun in motor vehicle that was then and there under the defendant's control, and the defendant was then and there engaged in criminal activity, to—wit: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Additional court documents indicate Moreno pleaded guilty in Fort Bend county in October 2022.

KPRC 2 News is working to learn more about Moreno's background and what led her to Lakewood Church.

Officials are investigating a wide range of possible motives given the writings on the weapon but cannot yet conclusively say what led to the shooting. They have not ruled out terrorism or hate crime-related motives.

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