Texas Church Shooter Genesse Ivonne Moreno Had ‘Palestine’ Sticker on Rifle, Police Say

Genesse Ivonne Moreno was named by police as the active shooter who opened fire on February 11 inside Joel Osteen’s Houston, Texas, church with a long gun.

That’s according to CNN, which reported that police named Moreno in a search warrant. Fox 10 Phoenix reported that Moreno has “identified as a female but has a criminal history in the name of Jeffrey Escalante.”

A criminal history obtained by that station says that Moreno also used the names Jeffrey Genesse Escalante and Jeffrey Escalante Moreno over the years.

John Whitmire, mayor of Houston, said in a news conference that a tragedy “occurred just before 2 p.m. at Lakewood church as they were in between services.” Two people were injured – a child and a man – police said in a previous news conference.

“We’re devastated. I mean, we’ve been here 65 years and to have someone shooting in your church,” Osteen said in the news conference. “We don’t know why these things happen, but we know God’s in control.” He said the church community would pray for the victims and the suspect. “Kind of in a fog but . . . we’re going to stay strong.” He said there are “forces of evil but the forces of God are stronger than that.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Genesse Ivonne Moreno Had a Sticker With the Word ‘Palestine’ on the Rifle & Anti-Semitic Writings Were Found, Police Say

MugshotGenesse Moreno

The suspect was carrying “an assault style-type rifle with the word ‘Palestine’ written on it,” NBC News reported.

According to Fox News, the phrase was “Free Palestine.”

NBC News reported that Moreno made statements during the incident that they did not disclose. Police also recovered “some antisemitic writings” but were not sure of the motive, according to ABC News.

“We do believe that there was a familial dispute that has taken place between her ex-husband and her ex-husband’s family,” police told ABC News, explaining that some of those family members are Jewish. ABC News reported that the word Palestine was on a sticker on the rifle.

2. Genesse Ivonne Moreno, Who Was Wearing a Trenchcoat & Had a Criminal History as Jeffrey Escalante, Entered the Church With a Small Child, Police Said

🚨BREAKING: FEMALE SHOOTER AT TEXAS MEGACHURCH NEUTRALIZED | 1 CHILD INJURED

During a live TV broadcast of a Spanish service at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Megachurch, gunfire erupted, injuring a five-year-old child.

An off-duty sheriff subdued a female suspect who had items… https://t.co/T1mpiGzwSa pic.twitter.com/ni3QZcRK5O

— Mario Nawfal (@MarioNawfal) February 11, 2024

In a press conference, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner revealed that the suspect was accompanied by a child when entering Lakewood Church on Sunday, February 11.

At 1:53 p.m., the suspect, described by Finner as a female, about 30 to 35 years old, entered the property on the west side near the parking lot of Lakewood Church. “She was armed with a long rifle and a trench coat with a backpack, accompanied by a small child, approximately 4 to 5 years old,” Finner said. The suspect opened fire, Finner said.

NBC News reported that the suspect had “at least six prior arrests since 2005, including unlawful carrying of a weapon, which she pleaded guilty to; evading arrest; and assault on a public official, which was pleaded to a lesser charge.”

Fox10 published the full criminal history, which shows aliases as Jeffrey Escalante.

According to Fox News, Moreno “was born as a man – Jeffrey Escalante – from El Salvador” but “identified as” a “transgender woman.” Authorities have not confirmed this information publicly.

3. Two Law Enforcement Officers at the Church Shot & Killed Genesse Moreno, Police Said

Police previously revealed that Moreno was shot and killed at the scene by two officers working “extra employment” at the church. Finner said he believed they averted greater damage. “She had a long gun, and it could have been a lot worse,” he said.

He did confirm that “a 5-year-old kid was hit and is in critical condition at a local hospital,” and that a man, 57, was shot in the leg.

The victims’ names have not yet been released. Finner said it’s not clear whether Moreno or of the officers shot the child but added that he believes the suspect “put that baby in danger. I am going to put that blame on her.”

According to Fox News, the search warrant says Moreno “pointed an AR-15 at the officers who then fired upon her and killed her in self-defense.”

4. Genesse Ivonne Moreno, Who Has a Criminal History, Claimed to Have a Bomb, the Police Chief Says

The shooting at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church today…. A good guy with a gun stopped a bad guy today. Praying for the families involved. pic.twitter.com/ZFzSe5dA9E

— James Owen (@realjamesowen1) February 11, 2024

According to Finner, Moreno claimed to have a bomb but none was found in the suspect’s car or backpack.

Moreno also sprayed a substance during the incident, Finner said, although he did not identify it or use the suspect’s name.

A search warrant was executed February 12 at a home associated with Moreno in Conroe, Texas, according to Fox10.

5. Genesse Ivonne Moreno Was Described as a ‘Lone Actor’

Finner said that authorities believe the shooting was an isolated incident, but they are still investigating to make sure.

The motive is not yet clear. The mayor said the suspect appears to be a “lone actor.”

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