A Harris County judge asked investigators to consider the Lakewood Church shooter’s motive

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Last weekend, a shooter opened fire on a congregation and injured two people in Houston, Texas.

The shooting happened at Lakewood Church, the home of nationally renowned pastor Joel Osteen.

But a Harris County judge asked investigators to consider the Lakewood Church shooter’s motive.

Lakewood Church rocked by senseless shooting

On February 11, Genesse Moreno entered the Lakewood Church with a rifle and opened fire during the Spanish language services. 

The shooter was quickly shot dead by two off-duty police officers. 

The incident left two people injured, including one 57-year-old who was shot in the leg and another young child who was shot in the head. 

The child is still in critical condition.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said the motive is still unclear and that he’s not ready to begin discussing it publicly. 

“I don’t want to talk about her motivations because I don’t know, and we may never know the full story,”  Finner told Click2Houston. “But the important message is that we’re going to stand together as a city.”

“We’re going to stand with this church today and the pastor to make sure that healing begins immediately,” he added.

Now the Judge overseeing the case in Harris County has asked police to consider this motive.

“I am asking that the investigation look into whether it was a hate crime…”

“I will not make any assumptions because information continues to come in as to what motivated the shooter, but I am asking that the investigation look into whether it was a hate crime,” Judge Lina Hidalgo said in a statement on Facebook.

Hidalgo called the shooting “devastating” for the entire nation. 

“My heart goes out to the congregation and all affected,” she said.

The Judge pointed to the fact that the shooting took place at “an all-Spanish service,” indicating that she believed that it may have been motivated by the ethnicity of the parishioners. 

Hidalgo went on to praise the “swift response amongst our law enforcement agencies and the off-duty police officers from the Houston Police Department and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission who neutralized the shooter and in doing so prevented a bigger tragedy.”

“Our faith is tested, but it is also strengthened…”

Joel Osteen encouraged his church and the nation to look to God in this time of hardship. 

“In the face of such darkness, we must hold on to our faith and remember evil will not prevail. God will guide us through the darkest of times,” he said.

The pastor called on all believers to “rise above this tragedy” and to give each other “love and support.”

“In times like these, our faith is tested, but it is also strengthened. We don’t always understand why things like this happen, but we know that God is in control,” Osteen said.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz also issued a statement of support for the officers who stopped it.

“Heidi and I are praying for the Lakewood Church community. I join them and my hometown city of Houston in mourning after today’s senseless shooting. We are grateful that off-duty law enforcement were on the scene and quickly stopped this shooter,” Cruz said.

“They are heroes,” he added.

Patriot Political will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.