Genesse Ivonne Moreno, the woman responsible for the shooting incident at Lakewood Church on Sunday, had a previous connection with the church, as per Montgomery County court documents. It was revealed that Moreno and her mother had attended Lakewood in the past. The church staff may have been questioned about Moreno during her contentious divorce proceedings, as her ex-mother-in-law, Walli Carranza, accused Moreno and her mother of keeping Moreno’s child away from the father during the divorce and custody proceedings in 2022.
Court records quoted Carranza as stating, “These two women knowingly and intentionally harmed both (the child) and his father, Enrique Carranza.” Law enforcement, child protective service social workers, and even the pastoral staff of Joel Osteen’s Church were involved in trying to understand the possible reasons behind Moreno’s and her mother’s behavior.
Moreno’s relationship with her ex-husband, Enrique Carranza, appeared to be rocky. According to Harris County court records, Carranza was arrested in 2007 for a sex offense in Colorado and failed to register as a sex offender in Harris County in 2016. He is currently serving time in a Florida prison for the same offense.
In 2022, amidst the divorce and child custody suit, Moreno filed two protective orders against her ex-husband, alleging that he had threatened to harm her multiple times through Facebook and text messages. These threats allegedly occurred between 2017 and 2022. However, the protective order petitions were dismissed after Carranza could not be located.
During the divorce proceedings, Moreno’s ex-mother-in-law attempted to become the managing conservator of their son, citing various allegations against Moreno. These included a diagnosis of schizophrenia and Munchausen by proxy, investigations by CPS, and instances where Moreno was found to have harmed her child. Carranza further claimed that Moreno had pointed a gun at her ex-husband and stored an unlocked handgun in her son’s diaper bag. However, Carranza did not appear in court to defend these claims, and a Montgomery County judge ultimately granted Moreno sole managing conservatorship.
In a news conference, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner confirmed that the child Moreno brought to the church was her biological child, who was shot during the incident and remains hospitalized. Initially, Finner stated that the child was “4 to 5 years old,” but it was later clarified that the child is 7 years old. Moreno’s social media profile revealed an Instagram post where she made a donation to Lakewood Church, expressing her intention to honor and bless the church. Other posts on her profile included instructions on cleaning an AR-15 assault-style rifle and a 2020 YouTube video where Moreno warned about dangerous “psychopath” teachers preying on children online.
It is worth noting that Genesse Moreno had a criminal history dating back to 2005 and had been identified by various names, including Jeffery Escalante, Jeffery Genesse Escalante, and Jeffery G. Escalante-Moreno. The charges against her included assaulting a detention officer, forgery for passing a counterfeit $100 bill, theft, and evading police.
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