Megachurch Shooting, According To A Texas Agency, Symbolizes The Harm Caused By The “Defund Police” Movement

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) chief cited the Sunday shooting at the Lakewood Church in Houston as evidence of the harm done to the urban regions impacted by the defund police campaign.

Megachurch Shooting, According To A Texas Agency, Symbolizes The Harm Caused By The

The mayor of Houston, law enforcement officers, and other guests were present during a press conference on Monday afternoon to give an update on the shooting at Joel Osteen’s megachurch, along with TABC chairman Kevin Lilly.

“Public safety, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the most critical things that we have,” Lilly said. “I would say this to elected officials that want to defund police: I say they do so at their political peril. We need to unify as a community to defend our men and women in the thin blue line.”

Thanking the responding law enforcement officers for their heroic and valiant actions, Lilly described them as the “personification of heroism and valour.”

The female shooter was apprehended by two security guards at the church who were not on duty.

“They were a wall that existed between worshipers and terror, between freedom of religion and murder,” the TABC chairman said. “We should all be mindful of the sacrifices that our men and women in law enforcement make every day. It is a profession of the highest honor.”

Lilly’s remarks coincide with recent actions by major cities to defund police forces, including Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas.

In August 2020, the Austin City Council and former Mayor Steve Adler voted by almost a third to cut the APD’s funding, which caused an immediate exodus of officers. A law enacted by the Texas legislature essentially required the city to reinstate the funding the following year. However, the department was severely understaffed compared to the recommended level due to the defunding and cancellation of cadet programmes.

Lilly stated that although he may not always share Houston Mayor John Whitmire’s political views, the mayor has always respected and honoured public safety and law enforcement.

The gunman at the Lakewood Church was identified by the authorities as Genesse Ivonne Moreno, a Hispanic woman who had gone by both a male and a female name. She allegedly brought her 7-year-old son into the church with her, then used an AR-15 to start shooting at the officers who weren’t on duty.

A man, aged 57, was shot yet managed to survive. After being shot in the head, Moreno’s son suffered serious injuries.

It’s unknown why the incident occurred.

Doug Williams of the FBI commended the work of the police who apprehended the gunman during the press conference on Monday.

“There is no doubt that their heroic actions saved lives,” he said.

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