Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

Authorities identify shooter in Joel Osteen church attack

Pastor Joel Osteen speaks to the media after the shooting at his church. Associated Press/Provided by KTRK-TV ABC13

Authorities identify shooter in Joel Osteen church attack

A search warrant affidavit identifies the deceased shooter as 36-year-old Genesse Ivonne Moreno. The suspect was armed with an AR-15 long rifle. Before being shot and killed, she said that she had a bomb, according to the ​​affidavit provided to WORLD by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office. Investigators on Monday were still looking into the incident. Moreno used different aliases, including a male name, said Houston Police Department Homicide Division Commander Chris Hassig. Police uncovered anti-semitic writings of hers but believe she acted alone.  She had a history of mental health issues and was involved in a familial dispute with her ex-husband who has Jewish family members, Hassig said.  

What happened in the shooting? The shooter entered the sanctuary of Lakewood Church at roughly 2 p.m. on Sunday and opened fire with a rifle. Authorities declared her deceased on the scene after two off-duty police officers fatally shot her. Moreno entered the church with her 7-year-old biological son, who suffered injuries and is in critical condition. A 57-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the hip.

What does the church have to say? The church issued a statement on its website saying it was “devastated” by Sunday’s events but expressed hope that “God will guide us through” and that the situation provided an opportunity to strengthen the congregation's faith.

Dig deeper: Read Travis Kircher’s report in The Sift with an initial report on the shooting.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

An actual newsletter worth subscribing to instead of just a collection of links. —Adam

Sign up to receive The Sift email newsletter each weekday morning for the latest headlines from WORLD’s breaking news team.

Please wait while we load the latest comments...