United States

7-Year-Old Fights for Life After Lakewood Church Shooting

The tragedy has reignited debate over gun safety and access for individuals with mental health issues.

AP
Emergency vehicles line the feeder road outside Lakewood Church during a reported active shooter event. Photo: AP
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A tragic incident unfolded at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, where a 7-year-old boy sustained a severe head injury after gunfire erupted during Sunday's service. His grandmother, Walli Carranza, took to Facebook on Thursday to provide an update on his condition, revealing that he has suffered significant damage to a portion of his frontal lobe.

According to Carranza's post, the young boy underwent two surgeries within 24 hours, during which half of his right skull had to be removed. The frontal lobe of the brain plays a crucial role in various cognitive functions, including thinking, planning, and problem-solving. Injuries to this area can impact higher brain processes such as social behavior and motivation.

The child had also suffered cardiac arrest multiple times, complicating efforts to assess his brain activity. Due to the delicate condition of his scalp tissue, doctors have been unable to attach EEG wires for monitoring.

Walli Carranza discusses the mental health struggles that her former daughter-in-law, Genesse Moreno, dealt with before she opened fire at a megachurch.
Walli Carranza discusses the mental health struggles that her former daughter-in-law, Genesse Moreno, dealt with before she opened fire at a megachurch. Photo: AP
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The circumstances surrounding the shooting remain under investigation, and authorities have not yet determined who fired the shot that injured the child. Meanwhile, the incident has reignited concerns about gun violence involving children and teenagers in the United States, with thousands of deaths recorded among this demographic in recent years.

Genesse Ivonne Moreno, the mother of the injured boy, was fatally shot by law enforcement following the incident. Carranza has stated that Moreno struggled with mental health issues and had a history of schizophrenia. Despite her condition, she had access to firearms, highlighting the need for better mental health support and gun safety measures.

Carranza emphasized the preventable nature of the tragedy, calling attention to the importance of addressing mental health challenges and implementing measures to protect vulnerable individuals.

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