HOUSTON – February 12, 2024 – In the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Lakewood Church on February 11, 2024, a press briefing was held today, providing new details about the incident and the measures being taken in response. Mayor Sylvester Turner emphasized a commitment to full transparency in the investigation, noting that mental health issues may have played a role.
The shooter was neutralized by a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) officer and a Houston Police Department (HPD) officer, hailed as heroes by the community. Mayor Turner urged the public to support first responders and keep the injured in their prayers, announcing increased security around places of worship.
Chief Troy Finner of the HPD provided an update on the victims: a 7-year-old boy remains in critical condition, while a 57-year-old male victim has been discharged from the hospital. Pastor Joel Osteen was absent from the briefing, choosing instead to focus on aiding his congregation’s recovery process.
Chief Samuel Peña of the Houston Fire Department mentioned that HAZMAT teams found no risk of chemical exposure at the church, identifying the substances present as common products.
The FBI’s Special Agent in Charge of the Houston Field Office assured the public of the agency’s commitment to thoroughly investigate the incident, supporting HPD as the lead agency.
The TABC Director condemned the attack as an assault on the nation’s foundational principles, praising the bravery displayed by the officers involved.
HPD Homicide Commander Hassig outlined the timeline of the shooting, revealing that the shooter, identified as 36-year-old Genessee Moreno, also known by several aliases, including Jeffery Escalante arrived at the church at 13:53 p.m., entering and opening fire by 13:55 p.m. The confrontation ended with Moreno’s death at 14:07 p.m. after an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement.
He also identified the officers as Officer Moreno with HPD and TABC Agent Herrera
Moreno, who identified as female, was found with two weapons, including an AR-15 rifle marked with a “Palestine” sticker.
The investigation remains ongoing, with authorities working to understand the motive behind Moreno’s actions.