A shooter who opened fire in a Texas megachurch over the weekend previously used a male name, law enforcement records show.
On Sunday afternoon, 36-year-old Genesse Ivonne Moreno* walked into Lakewood Church in Houston with a long gun and a young child and opened fire before being shot dead by law enforcement at the scene.
Moreno, a woman, previously identified as Jeffery Escalante, according to Texas Department of Public Safety records.
The shooter had a criminal history extending back nearly two decades to 2005 that included arrests for failure to stop and give information, assault of a public servant, assault causing bodily injury, forgery, possession of marijuana, theft, evading arrest, and unlawful carrying of a weapon.
— Sara Gonzales (@SaraGonzalesTX) February 12, 2024
A man, 57, was shot in the leg, and the five-year-old boy with Moreno was also shot and transported to the hospital in critical condition.
Police have not yet announced a motive for the shooting.
The shooter reportedly used an AR-15 with “Free Palestine” written on it.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said Moreno arrived at the church in a white vehicle and entered just before 2 p.m. wearing a trench coat and backpack.
Lakewood Church is led by high-profile evangelical pastor Joel Osteen, located about six miles from downtown Houston.
Osteen said at a press conference that the shooting occurred while his church was “in between services.”
The police chief also said Moreno claimed to have a bomb. A bomb squad found no evidence of explosives during a search of the church and Moreno’s car and backpack. Moreno also sprayed a substance on the ground, the chief said.
The shooting at Lakewood Church comes amid growing concern about recent mass shootings carried out by trans-identifying and “non-binary” shooters. One of the most prominent cases occurred last year when a woman who identified as a man entered a Christian school in Nashville and murdered three children and three adults before she was killed by responding police officers.
*Reports on mass shootings typically do not name the shooter under Daily Wire policy, but in this case, the shooter’s name is a vital part of law enforcement records and thus necessary to the clear reporting of this story.