Police release body camera, security footage of fatal shooting at Lakewood Church

Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the Feb. 11 incident.

ByAlyssa Pone, Bonnie Mclean, and Ivan Pereira
February 26, 2024, 9:08 PM

Houston authorities released graphic security and police body camera footage Monday of the Feb. 11 shooting inside Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church.

The videos show the suspect, Genesse Ivonne Moreno, walking into the house of worship and holding her 7-year-old son's hand while she carried an assault-style rifle and a bag that investigators said contained another rifle.

Moreno and her son got into the church lobby and attempted to enter the sanctuary, but the entrance doors were locked, according to police. People inside the church are seen running for cover in the video as Moreno walks through the halls with her weapon and son.

The footage also shows an off-duty Houston police officer, who worked church security, exchanging gunfire with the suspect.

PHOTO: In this image taken from body camera video released by the Houston Police Department on Feb. 26, 2024, officers and security respond after exchanging gunfire with a woman who opened fire at celebrity pastor Joel Osteen's Houston church Feb. 11.
In this image taken from body camera video released by the Houston Police Department on Feb. 26, 2024, officers and security respond after exchanging gunfire with a woman who opened fire at celebrity pastor Joel Osteen's Houston megachurch Sunday, Feb. 11. Police say Genesse Moreno, 36, entered the church between Sunday services with her 7-year-old son and began firing an AR-style rifle.
Houston Police Department via AP

A Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agent, who was also working security for the church, heard the gunfire and approached Moreno with his service weapon as she was firing her rifle, according to police and as seen in the footage.

Moreno can be heard yelling that she is going to blow up the church and that she has a bomb in her bag during her exchange with the TABC agent.

"All I need is help," she can be heard yelling in the body camera footage.

The TABC agent opened fire at the suspect when she refused orders to drop her weapon, according to police.

Security camera footage showed her son, who was later identified by relatives as Samuel, putting his hands on his ears during the gunfire exchange.

Moreno was ultimately struck by a bullet and was pronounced dead at the scene. Her son was shot in the head and rushed to a hospital in critical condition.

A 47-year-old man was shot in the hip, taken to the hospital and later released, police said.

PHOTO: Emergency vehicles line the feeder road outside Lakewood Church during a reported active shooter event, Feb. 11, 2024, in Houston.
Emergency vehicles line the feeder road outside Lakewood Church during a reported active shooter event, Feb. 11, 2024, in Houston.
Kirk Sides/Houston Chronicle via Getty Images

No bomb was found at the scene.

A motive remains under investigation. Police are delving into the background of Moreno, who has a well-documented history of mental health issues and a criminal record, according to a recent ABC News review of documents and records.

PHOTO: People wait outside of Lakewood Church on Feb. 11, 2024, in Houston, after a reported shooting during a Spanish church service.
People wait outside of Lakewood Church on Feb. 11, 2024, in Houston, after a reported shooting during a Spanish church service.
Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via Getty Images

A sticker saying "Palestine" was on the AR-15 rifle police recovered from the shooting, investigators said.

"We do believe that there was a familial dispute that has taken place between her ex-husband and her ex-husband's family," some of whom are Jewish, police said at the time.

Samuel's grandmother, Walli Carranza told ABC News two days after the shooting that she believed the shooting was "predictable and preventable." She also said that her daughter-in-law's mental health issues were well-known, and she did not receive any help.

"Despite the fact she had schizophrenia, she was allowed to own guns," Carranza told ABC News.

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