Court records show Genesse Ivonne Moreno had a tumultuous divorce and custody battle, and a rocky past.
HOUSTON — The woman who opened fire at Lakewood Church Sunday, 36-year-old Genesse Ivonne Moreno, had a previous connection with the church, according to Montgomery County court documents. Her mother attended Lakewood and the staff may have been questioned about her during contentious divorce proceedings.
Moreno’s ex-mother-in-law, Walli Carranza, accused Moreno and her mother of keeping Moreno’s child away from the father in 2022 divorce and custody proceedings.
“These two women knowingly and intentionally harmed both (the child) and his father, Enrique Carranza,” Walli Carranza wrote in court documents.
“There are several possible reasons that have been proposed by law enforcement, child protective service social workers, by each of these two women themselves, and even by the pastoral staff of Joel Osteen’s Church when (Carranza) sought assistance from the Church (Moreno’s mom) attends when trying to understand what caused the women’s behavior,” Carranza wrote.
Moreno appeared to have a rocky relationship with her ex-husband. Enrique Carranza was arrested in 2007 for a sex offense in Colorado and failed to register as a sex offender in Harris County in 2016, according to Harris County court records. He is currently in prison in Florida for failing to register as a sex offender, according to Florida Department of Corrections records.
In 2022, amid a divorce and child custody suit, Moreno filed two protective orders against her ex-husband, claiming Carranza had threatened to hurt her multiple times through Facebook and text messages. The threats occurred between 2017 to 2022, according to Montgomery County court records. The protective order petitions were dismissed after the ex could not be located.
During the 2022 divorce proceedings, Moreno’s ex-mother-in-law also tried to become the managing conservator of their son who was born in 2016, according to Montgomery County court records. Walli Carranza claimed Moreno has a diagnosis of schizophrenia and Munchausen by proxy; had been investigated by CPS four times, and was found to have harmed her child twice. Carranza alleged Moreno pointed a gun at her ex-husband and stored an unlocked handgun in her son’s diaper bag.
However, the ex-mother-in-law did not appear in court to defend these claims and a Montgomery County judge ultimately made Moreno the sole managing conservator.
Moreno brought child to Lakewood Church
In a news conference, Monday Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said the child Moreno brought to the church with her is her biological child. The child was shot and remains hospitalized.
Finner initially said the child was “4 to 5 years old.” On Monday, officials confirmed the child is 7. The child listed in the divorce documents was born in November 2016.
Moreno’s social media profile includes an Instagram post of a donation she made to Lakewood Church. Moreno wrote, “I will honor and bless my church.” Other posts include photos on how to clean an AR-15 assault-style rifle and a 2020 YouTube video in which Moreno warns of dangerous “psychopath” teachers preying on children online.
Genesse Moreno had an arrest history dating back to 2005, and was previously identified by several names, including Jeffery Escalante, Jeffery Genesse Escalante, and Jeffery G. Escalante-Moreno. Criminal charges include assaulting a detention officer, forgery for passing a counterfeit $100 bill, theft for stealing socks and cosmetics from a store, and evading police.
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