Update: New information is being revealed on Monday morning about a shooting that was carried about by an alleged woman at Joel Osteen’s Houston church.
Reports have identified the shooter as Jeffery “Genesee” Moreno, an alleged transgender woman.
New York Daily News
A female shooter was left dead, a child critically wounded and a man hit in the leg Sunday at the Texas megachurch presided over by Joel Osteen.
Lakewood Church in Houston was between services when the woman allegedly appeared at the door just before 2 p.m. and started firing. Two off-duty officers who were on security duty fired back, killing the attacker, police said later Sunday at a briefing.
“She was armed with a long rifle and a trench coat and a backpack, accompanied by a small child,” Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said at a news conference. “She is deceased here on the scene.”
Bomb squads were called in after the woman threatened that she had explosives and sprayed a mystery substance before she was felled.
The shooting at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church today…. A good guy with a gun stopped a bad woman today. Praying for the families involved. pic.twitter.com/Pf7TRMJ8Re— James Owen (@realjamesowen1) February 11, 2024
“There is an active situation involving shots fired at Lakewood,” the church stated on X as the incident unfolded. “Law enforcement is on the scene. That is all the information we have at this time. Please pray for Lakewood and our community.”
The child accompanying the shooter was wounded in the firefight and taken to Texas Children’s Hospital, while a man was hit in the hip, police said. Both were still hospitalized as of Sunday evening. Police did not identify any of the three and said it was unclear whose shot had hit the youth.
“This is traumatic for everyone, every Houstonian,” Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena said.
Finner added that “this is an isolated incident, we believe,” and that there was no further danger to the public.
Nonetheless, authorities searched the building, a former sports arena, to make sure there were no explosives, and Finner asked people to stay away from the area. Osteen, whose father founded the church in the 1950s, said he and the church community was devastated.
“We don’t understand why these things happen, but we know God’s in control,” Osteen said.
“And we’re going to pray for that 5-year-old boy and pray for the lady that was deceased, her family and all, and the other gentleman. There are forces of evil, but the forces that are for us, the forces of God, are stronger than that.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott weighed in with condolences and support.
“Our hearts are with those impacted by today’s tragic shooting and the entire Lakewood Church community in Houston,” he said in a statement. “Places of worship are sacred.”
With News Wire Services