Lakewood Church shooter reportedly used mulitple aliases, had ‘Palestine’ written on rifle

The woman who carried a rifle into Pastor Joel Osteen’s megachurch on Sunday, opening fire and wounding two, including a 7-year-old boy, reportedly had a long rap sheet and used several aliases.

The woman named Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36, who once previously identified as a male named Jeffery Escalante, reportedly brought the weapon into Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas along with the child before opening fire, wounding a 57-year-old man in the leg and critically wounding the child. She was brought down by security at the church, according to KHOU 11.

NBC News cited two senior law enforcement officials briefed on the matter to report that the weapon had the word “Palestine” written on it.

“Morena was wearing a trench coat and a backpack when she threatened an unarmed security guard with an AR-15 before entering Lakewood with the child. She immediately opened fire in the westside hallway and got into a shootout with two law enforcement officers working security at the church,” KHOU reported in an update on the evolving story.

Several media outlets reportedly labeled Morena as “white” despite an alleged arrest record indicating she was “non-Hispanic” despite being from El Salvador.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner recounted that the shooter got out of a white vehicle at the church before entering the building from the west side of the parking lot.

Moreno entered the church with the little boy in tow just before 2 p.m. on Sunday and almost immediately opened fire, according to reports.

“Two off-duty officers — one with TABC and one with the Houston Police Department — opened fire, killing her, Finner said,” KHOU 11 noted.

“Finner said before Moreno died, she mentioned she had a bomb. Finner said a bomb squad searched the church and the vehicle and backpack and found no evidence of explosives,” the outlet added.

The police chief also said that Moreno sprayed something on the ground but investigators didn’t know what it was.

“Moreno had a long criminal history dating back to 2005 that included arrests for assault of a public servant, assault causing bodily injury, forgery, possession of marijuana, theft, evading arrest and unlawful carrying weapon,” KHOU 11 reported.

“Moreno had used multiple aliases, including Jeffery Escalante, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety records search. HPD said they haven’t found any evidence that she identified as anything but female,” the outlet added.

The motive for the shooting is unknown but when it happened, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo called for it to be branded as a hate crime due to it taking place at an all-Spanish service at the church.

Investigators searched a home connected to the shooter but, at this time, it is unknown if anything was foundrelated to the shooting.

(Video Credit: KHOU 11)

*Editor’s Note: This story and the headline have been updated as new information has been reported.


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