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Conservatives Question Lakewood Church Shooter’s Gender Identity 

Fox News and Libs of Tiktok have falsely reported that the suspect was transgender.

Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas

Conservative groups are pushing the narrative that the woman who opened fire at Lakewood Church on Sunday, February 11, was transgender. 

The Houston Police Department (HPD) identified the shooter as Genesse Ivonne Moreno, a 36-year-old woman, during a press conference on February 12. Shortly after the announcement, conservative media platforms, including Fox News and Libs of Tiktok, began reporting that Moreno identified as trans. 

“The LGBTQ Texas Church shooter was a migrant from El Salvador. She has a long criminal history dating back to 2005. She was also a Bernie supporter, had a “free palestine” sticker on her gun, and identified as transgender,” Libs of Tiktok, a popular far-right social account, posted on X (formerly known as Twitter)

Fox News also misreported that Moreno was “identified as transgender” in an article that has since removed the language, but again called the woman a “Transgender Texas megachurch shooter” in a separate article

Conservatives contend that the suspect was trans because she had previously used both male and female aliases. However, HPD has not indicated that Moreno identified as anything other than a cisgender woman. 

“We do have reports she used multiple aliases, including Jeffrey Escalante, so she used both male and female names, but through all of our investigations to this point—talking to individuals, interviews, documents, and HPD reports—she has been identified this entire time as female,” HPD commander Chris Hassig said. 

HPD also said that Moreno had a history of mental health struggles and a long criminal record, which included forgery, theft, and unlawful carrying of a weapon. 

Moreno entered Lakewood with her biological son and opened fire with an AR-15 at around 1:55 on Sunday, HPD reports. She may have pointed her weapon at a security guard. 

Two off-duty officers fired back, striking the suspect, police said. Moreno was pronounced dead at 2:07 p.m. Moreno’s son was shot in the head and is in critical condition in the hospital, HPD Chief Troy Finner said. A man in his 50s was also shot and has since been released from the hospital, Finner noted. 

Moreno’s motive was unclear, but authorities and investigators were looking into a dispute involving Moreno and the family of her ex-husband. 

When investigating Moreno’s home, investigators also found antisemitic writings by the shooter, and Hassig noted Moreno’s rifle had a “Palestine” sticker on the buttstock. He described Moreno as a “lone wolf” who acted alone and not as any part of a larger group.

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Lourdes Zavaleta

Lourdes Zavaleta is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine.
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