UPDATE: This story has been updated with suspects name and the age of the boy who was wounded in the shooting.
Local and federal authorities continue to investigate a shooting at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston after a woman opened fire right before an afternoon worship service on Sunday (Feb. 11). Two off-duty police officers, who were working as security guards, shot and killed the shooter. Two others were injured during the incident.
Among the wounded was a 7-year-old boy, who reportedly entered the building with the shooter around 2 p.m. as the church’s Spanish service was about to start, according to the Associated Press. The boy is reportedly in critical condition at a nearby hospital. The relationship between the boy and the shooter has not been released. The other shooting victim, whose identity has not been released, is reportedly in his 50s. The shooter has been identified as Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36, of Conroe.
Searching for a motive
According to a Sunday news conference with police, the woman entered the church wearing a trench coat, a backpack and carrying a rifle. Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said authorities were still looking for a motive.
Finner noted the woman reportedly told police a bomb was in the building but no explosives were found. He said the shooting could have been far worse if the off-duty officers did not confront the shooter. The church reportedly draws around 45,000 during weekly services.
During the press conference, Osteen said the church was devastated by the tragic shooting but would move forward.
“We’re going to stay strong, and we’re going to continue to move forward,” he said, AP reported. “There are forces of evil, but the forces that are for us — the forces of God — are stronger than that. So we’re going to keep going strong and just, you know, doing what God’s called us to do: lift people up and give hope to the world.”