More information has emerged in the case of Genesse Ivonne Moreno, the individual who opened fire at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church earlier in February in an attempted mass shooting. It was revealed that she had a troubling history of prior gun charges before committing the assault.


This report adds to the list of warning signs that Moreno exhibited in the years leading up to the shooting. She was arrested in 2022 during a traffic stop where officers discovered a plethora of illegal firearms and substances in her vehicle.

The woman who opened fire earlier this month at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church before being shot and killed by off-duty police officers on the scene was previously arrested on gun charges, according to a police report.

Genesse Ivonne Moreno, originally from El Salvador, was arrested by Katy, Texas, police on April 2, 2022 after being pulled over in a black Infinity sedan police say had an expired registration and no front license plate.

The officer conducting the traffic stop smelled marijuana “emitting from the interior of the vehicle” and “observed a tan in color custom AR15 rifle in plain view on the passenger side seat,” the case report states.

The officer states the rifle was “equipped with two 30 round magazines” and was loaded when located.

Moreno was asked to step out of the car when a black handgun was spotted by the officer on the driver-side floorboard next to a “small plastic baggie containing a green leafy substance.” Once Moreno stepped out of the car, she was placed in handcuffs.

The handgun was identified as a Smith & Wesson 9mm semiautomatic. It was reported to be equipped with one magazine and was loaded.


After the officers searched her vehicle, she was taken into custody and booked into the Fort Bend County Jail. This incident, combined with a rather extensive history of six prior arrests dating back to 2005, sheds more light on the shooter’s pattern of behavior, which culminated in the church shooting.

In the weeks following the assault, the Houston Police Department released body camera footage showing the tense moments in which police officers confronted Moreno at the church.

It was revealed earlier in February that Moreno’s neighbors had brought concerns about her violent behavior to the authorities, but no action was taken. They detailed how she had threatened them with firearms and harassed them in public. Her former mother-in-law also recounted warning the authorities about the shooter’s questionable behavior.

These revelations further underscore the many signs Moreno displayed pointing to her violent tendencies and call into question the lack of action from law enforcement. Unfortunately, this is a scenario America has seen play out numerous times. Many mass shooters were revealed to have shown signs of mental illness and violent behavior before they finally carried out their mass murders.


Moreno’s history begs a crucial question: What are the best ways to prevent mentally ill individuals from endangering the public? The conversation typically focuses on restricting gun ownership but gives little mention to mental health and how the authorities should respond when faced with a potential mass murderer. Unfortunately, the political agendas make it more likely that Moreno’s case will not be the last tale of missed warning signs and inaction leading to tragedy.