7-Year-Old Boy Shot in Head at Pastor Joel Osteen’s Houston Megachurch
In a shocking incident that unfolded on Sunday, a 7-year-old boy was shot in the head during a shooting inside Pastor Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch. The child, previously believed to be 5 years old, remains in critical condition as authorities investigate the tragic incident.
The shooting took place shortly before 2 p.m. when the child’s mother, identified as 36-year-old Genesse Moreno, entered Lakewood Church armed with two firearms. She immediately began firing an AR-15 rifle in a hallway, with a .22-caliber rifle in her possession but not fired, according to Police Commander Christopher Hassig of the Houston Police Department’s homicide division.
Law enforcement officers who were present at the scene exchanged gunfire with Moreno, but it is still unclear who shot the child, as multiple shots were fired by all three individuals involved. Sadly, Moreno was pronounced dead at the scene. The motive behind the attack is currently unknown, but police have discovered anti-Semitic writings and a sticker on the AR-15 rifle that said “Palestine.” Hassig mentioned that Moreno had a family dispute with her ex-husband and some of his Jewish family members, which may have influenced her actions.
It is important to note that Moreno had a known history of mental illness. In 2016, she was placed under an emergency detention order by Houston police. Despite her mental health issues, she legally purchased one of the firearms used in the church shooting in December of last year.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner emphasized that the incident is not being labeled as a hate crime at this time. He urged the public to avoid jumping to conclusions and to remember that mental illness was a significant factor in this tragedy. The investigation is still in its early stages, and authorities are reviewing video footage of the incident.
Our hearts go out to the young boy who was injured in this senseless act of violence. We hope for his swift recovery and that answers will be found to bring closure to this devastating event.