The shooter, a woman in her 30s, died in a shootout with police
Two people, including a child, were injured in a shooting Sunday afternoon at celebrity pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church.
Police said a woman, armed with a long rifle and wearing a trench coat, entered the Houston megachurch with a young boy before opening fire just before 2 p.m.
The woman, identified as Genesse Ivonne Moreno by the Montgomery County District Attorney, died in a shootout with two off-duty law enforcement officers who were working security at the church, police said.
“I want to commend those officers,” Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said at a press conference Sunday. “She had a long gun and it could have been a lot worse, but they stepped up and did their job.”
The boy was critically injured during the shooting, though it’s unclear who shot him. Finner said he couldn't confirm if the child was shot by officers or the suspect.
"I don't want to speculate on that, but what I would say is if it was, unfortunately, and that female, that suspect put that baby in danger, I'm going to put that blame on her," Finner said.
A 57-year-old man was shot in the leg and is in stable condition, Finner said.
“Once she went down, officers reported back to us that she threatened that she had a bomb, so we searched her vehicle, our bomb squad, and also the backpack," Finner said. "No explosives were found but she was also spraying some type of substance on the ground.”
Finner said the woman acted alone.
At the press conference, Osteen said the shooting occurred between services.
“I can only imagine if it would have happened during the 11 o’clock service we were in between services and going into the Spanish service” he said. “If there is anything good of it she didn’t get in there and do a whole lot worse damage.”
“We are devastated,” he said. “We have been here 65 years and have someone shooting in your church.”
The motive for the shooting is unknown. “I don’t want to talk about her motivations because I don’t know,” said Finner. “We may never know the full story.”
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