Gunwoman killed in Texas megachurch shootout

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A woman clad in a trench coat and accompanied by a child opened fire in a crowded Texas megachurch before she was gunned down by police, officials say.

The suspect, named by police as Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36, was with her seven-year-old son, who was critically injured in the Houston shootout.

Investigators said the attacker had “Palestine” written on the butt of her rifle and they had uncovered antisemitic writings by her.

But they said the motive is unclear.

A 57-year-old man was wounded in the shooting and has since been discharged from hospital.

Police said the suspect used an AR-15 rifle for the attack. She also had a .22 calibre rifle, but did not fire that weapon.

Officials told Monday’s news conference the attacker has a history of mental health issues.

Public records indicate Moreno has a long record of arrests and convictions on assault, drug, and weapons charges.

She previously went by several other names including Jeffery Escalante and is variously listed as male and female in official records.

The site of the shooting was the Lakewood megachurch, one of the largest in the country, owned by evangelical pastor Joel Osteen.

Police said the shooter approached the church at 13:53 local time (19:53 GMT) just as a Spanish-speaking service was about to begin.

Shortly after she opened fire, a 28-year-old Houston police officer and a 38-year-old agent with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission tried to subdue the woman and shot her.

“Multiple rounds” were fired in the ensuing gun battle, officials said, before the attacker was “neutralised” and pronounced dead at 14:07.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said Moreno was seen spraying “some type of substance on the ground”, but investigators have determined the substance posed no risk.(BBC)

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