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Dramatic footage shows heroic officers thwart massacre at Lakewood Church while one cop prays over a wounded child

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A deranged anti-Semite from El Salvador dragged her son into Joel Osteen’s Houston-area megachurch on Feb. 11 and began shooting wildly. Genesse Moreno’s attempted massacre was swiftly thwarted by a 28-year-old off-duty Houston Police Department officer and a 38-year-old Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officer.

The Houston Police Department
released footage of the incident Monday, showing Genesse Moreno’s incursion into Lakewood Church and her confrontation with the heroes therein.

Surveillance footage outside the church shows Genesse Moreno — who sometimes called herself Jeffrey Escalante — pull her 7-year-old son Samuel out of a white SUV, then march over to an entrance just ahead of the church’s 2 p.m. Spanish-language service, dressed in a trench coat and carrying a backpack.

Another view shows multiple people peaceably mingling in a hallway on the west side of the church scatter in response to the crackle of gunfire. While churchgoers and others run for cover, HPD Officer Christopher Moreno rushes toward the commotion.

The shooter, who can be seen from another vantage ignoring the pleas and outstretched arms of her son, fires at Officer Moreno, prompting him to respond in kind, then take cover inside a doorway off the hallway. Genesse Moreno continues marching forward with rifle in hand, passing the officer — who has been on the force since January 2023.

According to HPD Assistant Chief Keith Seafous, the shooter attempted to enter the sanctuary, but the entrance doors were fortunately locked.

Footage shows TABC Officer Adrian Herrera, working security for the church at the time, approach the shooter from the rear with his handgun drawn and at least three other individuals in tow.

Genesse Moreno can be observed taking notice of the armed presence behind her and opening fire, nearly striking Herrera.

After Herrera answered back with his duty weapon, Moreno began to rifle through her backpack on the ground. The Houston Chronicle
indicated that at the time, she had sprayed substances on the floor, which Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña later determined were not hazardous.

Officer Moreno’s bodycam footage captures the shooter announcing, “There’s a bomb in this bag. Stop shooting.”

Security pleads with the shooter to drop her weapon, but she refuses, yelling, “The bomb is gonna go off.”

The shooter reiterates, saying, “I will blow up the whole f***ing place.”

While Genesse Moreno appeared to be preparing the next phase of her attack, Herrera continued his advance, ultimately dropping the shooter with a decisive shot. After floundering on the ground for a moment near her supposed explosive device, Moreno stiffened.

In the exchange, 7-year-old Samuel was shot in the head.

HPD Officer Garcia, whose body camera captured some of the chaos surrounding the incident, can be seen running up to the wounded child and praying over his body.

“Father God, please bring him close to you,” says Garcia. “Please bring him close to you.”

On her way over to the gun battle, Garcia had similarly prayed, “Father God, just be with us. Forgive us our sins.”

Uncertain whether the shooter had a bomb, the officers dragged the shooter’s child to safety, then cautiously approached.

Walli Carranza, the boy’s grandmother, indicated over the weekend that Samuel was recently removed from a ventilator and is now breathing on his own but nevertheless remains in critical condition.

Tom George Thomas, the 57-year-old volunteer at the church who caught a bullet to the hip during the incident, was released from a hospital in stable condition the day after the shooting.

Blaze News
previously noted that Genesse Moreno had multiple run-ins with the law prior to shooting up Lakewood Church. She was slapped with charges for drug possession, assault, illegal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, and forgery.

Houston Homicide Commander Christopher Hassig indicated that the gender-bending shooter was also temporarily detained in 2016 over mental health concerns and had a history of mental illness.

According to Genesse Moreno’s former mother-in-law, Rabbi Walli Carranza, the shooter was a schizophrenic who had been diagnosed with Munchausen by proxy. Moreno allegedly harmed her child more than once and had been the subject of multiple child protective services investigations.

Genesse Moreno had also at one time lost custody of her child but apparently regained it in 2022.

Police indicated early in their investigation that they had discovered some of the shooter’s “anti-Semitic writings.” Her neighbors spoke of repeated threats, Nazi salutes, and in one instance, the shooter painting a swastika on a nearby resident’s fence.

Carranza
told the New York Times that Genesse Moreno was a practicing Muslim who frequently targeted her Jewish in-laws with “very anti-Semitic” rants that “were very profane and … horrible.”

Police have not yet confirmed a motive for the attack.

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