Genesse Ivonne Moreno (left) has been identified and pictured as the Lakewood Church shooter (Pictures: KHOU 11/Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office)
The suspect in a shooting at a mega church run by celebrity Pastor Joel Osteen has been identified and pictured.
A search warrant named Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36, as the suspect who opened fire at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, shortly before 2pm on Sunday during the Spanish-language sermon.
Moreno, of Conroe, was transgender and identified as a woman, according to the warrant released on Monday. She used the name Jeffrey in the past and had a criminal record including assault, forgery and possession of marijuana.
She had the word ‘Palestine’ written on an AR-15 rifle she carried into the church at 3700 Southwest Freeway, two senior law enforcement told NBC News. Moreno reportedly had her son who was around 5 years old with her.
Lakewood Church Pastor Joel Osteen spoke after the shooting (Picture: AP)
Moreno shot a man before being gunned to death by two off-duty cops, officials said.
Osteen said a man was wounded in the leg and that a 5-year-old boy was also shot. The boy, who came with Moreno, was rushed to a hospital close by in critical condition. It was not immediately known if the boy was shot by Moreno or by cops. The 57-year-old man is expected to recover.
Moreno apparently told officers that she had a bomb. One of the cops reported seeing the suspect with a ‘yellow in color rope and substances consistent with the manufacture of explosive devices, which appeared to be a detonation cord’.
Cops fired at Moreno in self-defense after she pointed her rifle at them, according to the warrant.
Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36, was shot dead by cops on Sunday (Picture: Christophe Bayle)
Investigators who executed the search warrant on Monday seized all of Moreno’s electronic devices which they will examine to try to determine a motive. Authorities have not ruled out hate crime or terrorism as motives for the shooting.
Read More Stories
Moreno uttered multiple statements during the incident but officials have not detailed them.
It was unclear where Osteen was during the shooting but he spoke alongside police afterward and said he would pray for the victims and the suspect and their families. The pastor said the shooting could have been worse if it had occurred during the 11am English-language service which has more attendees.
A man and a boy were shot during the Lakewood Church shooting (Picture: KHOU 11)
‘We’re going to stay strong and we´re going to continue to, to move forward,’ said Osteen.
‘There are forces of evil, but the forces that are for us – the forces of God – are stronger than that. So we´re going to keep going strong and just, you know, doing what God’s called us to do: lift people up and give hope to the world.’
Lakewood Church’s broadcast reaches more than 200million households in the USand has an audience across six continents, according to its website.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more stories like this, check our news page.