A woman identified as Genesse Moreno as being between the ages of 30 to 35, identified as the suspect, initiated gunfire at Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Texas around 2 p.m.
This resulted in an exchange of gunfire with off-duty authorities, leaving two individuals injured and the suspect deceased, stated Houston Police Chief Troy Finner.
According to Finner, the woman entered the church between services accompanied by a child aged between 4 and 5, carrying a long rifle, trench coat, and a backpack.
At one individual sustained gunshot wounds following an assailant's gunfire at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. The perpetrator has been identified as a female.— Channel3 Now (@channel3nownews) February 11, 2024
Houston authorities report that an armed female entered the Lakewood Church property. Gunfire struck a 5-year-old… pic.twitter.com/QUpENOyGM3
As the shooting commenced, an off-duty agent of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and an off-duty Houston Police Department officer returned fire, resulting in the death of the suspect.
Authorities reported that the child was struck by gunfire and remained in critical condition as of late Sunday afternoon.
Additionally, a 57-year-old man sustained a gunshot wound to the hip. Finner mentioned that “multiple” shots were fired, although the exact number was unknown.
“This is indeed a sorrowful day,” Finner expressed. However, he emphasized that “no individual or group will destabilize our city,” commending the collaboration of various law enforcement agencies and emergency responders.
Finner disclosed that the suspect had issued a bomb threat and dispersed an unidentified substance in the vicinity. Nonetheless, initial inspections of the area failed to reveal any bomb-related evidence.
Authorities refrained from disclosing the potential motive.
“I don’t wish to speculate on her motivations, as they remain unknown to me,” stated Finner. The chief mentioned uncertainty regarding who fired the shot that injured the child. “At present, it appears to be the actions of a single individual,” commented Mayor John Whitmire.
Houston police emphasized that the incident at the church was an “ongoing, active scene” and urged the public to avoid the area as law enforcement personnel converged on the location.
A bomb squad unit was dispatched to the church, and officers radioed for a SWAT unit to inspect a backpack.
Authorities announced the establishment of a family reunification area at a Life Time Fitness center located at 1 Healthy Way in Greenway Plaza.
This is a developing story that will be updated when more information is available.