Latest Global News | ‘Free Palestine’ written on gun in shooting at Lakewood Church, but motive a mystery: Sources

The suspect died and two were hurt in the shooting at Joel Osteen’s church.

“Free Palestine” was written on the gun belonging to a woman who opened fire at celebrity pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation.

However, a motive behind the Sunday afternoon shooting that injured two has not been determined. Sources said investigators are feverishly going through the social media and writings belonging to the suspect, who is believed to be Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36, according to law enforcement sources.

When Moreno entered the church, she was accompanied by a 7-year-old boy, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said.

The suspect opened fire with a rifle, Finner said. Detectives believe Moreno fired as many as 12 shots, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation.

Two off-duty officers fired back, striking and texting the suspect, Finner said.

The 7-year-old was shot and is “fighting for his life” in the hospital in critical condition, Finner said Monday. It’s not clear who shot the child or the relationship between the child and shooter, police said.

A man believed to be a parishioner was also shot and has since been released from the hospital, Finner said.

Moreno allegedly threatened that she had a bomb, police said. Officials searched her car and backpack but nothing was found. She also appeared to be spraying an unknown substance, authorities said.

Moreno has a number of arrests on her record, which investigators are reviewing, a law enforcement official said.

The shooting unfolded shortly before the church’s 2 p.m. Spanish language service was set to begin.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said in a statement, “I will not make any assumptions because information continues to come in as to what motivated the shooter, but I am asking that the investigation look into whether it was a hate crime, given the shooting took place at an all-Spanish service.”

“We all stand with the Lakewood congregation as they recover from this terrifying day and with the young child and adult who are known to have been hurt in the shooting,” Hidalgo added.

Houston Mayor John Whitmire on Monday addressed the city’s “diverse community,” promising, “We are going to provide you protection.” He said security will be increased at Houston’s churches, synagogues and mosques.

“Our community is devastated by today’s events and grateful for the swift actions of law enforcement,” Osteen wrote on social media. “Please join me in continued prayer for healing and peace.”