Fri. Jul 12th, 2024

Texas neighbors said they tried to sound the alarm about Houston church shooter for months

By 37ci3 Feb13,2024

CONROE, Texas – Years before the shooter Joel Osteen’s Lakewood church opened fire Residents of a small neighborhood in Houston say they ran away with a suspect who scared them.

Six women in the north Houston neighborhood of Conroe said Genesse Yvonne Moreno targeted them, stalked them, threatened them, brandished a firearm and made them afraid to be outside their homes.

On Monday afternoon, the women held a press conference in the driveway of a house describe what they say they endure and criticize what they say officials’ failure to respond to Moreno’s reports.

“No one should have died. No one should have been hurt. This should have been resolved years ago and here we are again,” said Jill, the president of the neighborhood association, who did not give her last name for fear of retribution.

Moreno opened fire Sunday afternoon between services at Houston’s Lakewood megachurch, authorities said. Authorities said that her 7-year-old son was with her at that time.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said Monday that the young man was injured and “fighting for his life.”

The victim, a 57-year-old man, was also released from the hospital.

Two off-duty security guards at the church opened fire and killed Moreno.

Authorities said no one answered at Moreno’s address, nor did anyone answer the business card left on the door. At the home Monday afternoon, someone taped a sign to the front door that read, “I don’t want to talk to anyone. Please leave my property. Thank you.”

Lakewood church shooting house
A note hangs on the front door of the home of the suspect in Monday’s Lakewood church shooting.Suzanne Gamboa/NBC News

The lawns in the neighborhood are neat with few plants and planters on them, except for the one at Moreno’s house. There are small concrete sculptures of rabbits, fairies and angels. Metal birds and butterflies are planted on sticks around a tree. Wind chimes hang from the eaves. Welcome mats lead to a small porch.

A few banners with Christian messages hang from homes in the neighborhood, but few have cameras, including Moreno’s. A small “No trespassing” sign with an image of an assault rifle was posted on the fence of a house.

The women who spoke out said things in the neighborhood had gotten so bad that five of them spoke to local elected officials, police, the sheriff’s office and the city’s law department one day about five months ago. They wrote letters Linda Giutta, who lives in the neighborhood, said she met with the neighborhood property manager and her attorney and called the media.

They said that a ceasefire was ordered after that meeting.

“We can do nothing but what we do. We tried to stop it,” said Giutta. “We tried to help him. We tried to help. We tried to help the people. Something needs to be done.”

One of the women, Heather, who only gave her first name for fear of retaliation, said she filed a complaint against Moreno on July 4, 2022, alleging he threatened her with a gun.

Heather said Moreno yelled at her early in the morning while she was watering her lawn. Heather said she went to Moreno’s house and the woman pointed a gun at her from the trunk of her car. He said Conroe police are documenting the incident as a threat.

“They tell us that ‘see something, say something.’ Well, we see things, we say things … and Conroe PD is not helping us,” Heather said. “I don’t want to hurt them, but help us. Please.”

Neither the police department nor Conroe’s five council members immediately responded to requests for comment.

Authorities did not determine a motive for Sunday’s shooting, but they said a dispute between Moreno and her ex-husband’s family, some of whom are Jewish, may have been involved.

Two law enforcement agencies previously told NBC News that Moreno used an assault rifle with the word “Palestine” written on it.

Moreno made several statements during the shooting, officials said, but they declined to describe them.

Moreno had a documented mental health history and was served with an emergency arrest warrant by Houston police in 2016. Law enforcement records show he has been arrested several times since 2005. He pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon and accepted a lesser charge after authorities charged him. attacked a government official.

Another resident, Judy Keith, said she first met Moreno at the park down the street. She said she stopped walking around the neighborhood every morning and evening because Moreno tried to shoot her twice as she walked down the street.

“I’m afraid to go down here. I used to walk my grandson from here to the park and I had to stop doing that,” Keith said.

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By 37ci3

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