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Bush Intercontinental incident

"A desperate act": Chilling details emerge about Houston airport shooter

PD Homicide detectives Brian Harris and Millard Waters and Police Cheif McClelland IAH shootin May 2013
Homicide detectives Brian Harris and Millard Waters and Police Chief McClelland Photo by Tyler Rudick
IAH shooting bullet hole in ceiling May 2013 RUN FLAT
Bullet hole that was fired into the ceiling at Terminal B. Photo courtesy of KHOU Houston/Channel 11

Investigators gathered at Houston Police Department headquarters Friday morning to share new details surrounding the tragic shooting and suicide that took place at Bush Intercontinental Airport on Thursday afternoon.

According to HPD homicide detective Brian Harris, 29-year-old Carnell Moore of Beaumont pulled up to the Terminal B passenger pick-up area around noon on Thursday. After waiting in his truck for 15 minutes, security cameras record him removing a black suitcase and walking inside the terminal lobby.

In the departure area near a United Airlines ticket counter and a Starbucks, Moore took a seat in a public airport chair until 1:30 p.m., when he fired two shots into the air with a Glock .40 semi-automatic pistol. A Homeland Security agent, who heard the noise and came out of a nearby office, shouted several warnings at the suspect before shooting him in the right shoulder. At roughly the same moment, Moore seemed to have taken his own life with a gunshot wound to the temple.

 "The monster within me was getting stronger and while I could not save myself, I could spare others. Peace is within sight." 

Officials are awaiting an autopsy before determining the cause of death.

While Moore's suitcase contained a loaded but unfired AR-15 — a semi-automatic rifle with 20-round magazine — investigators analyzing the suspect's suicide note (also in the bag) believe he was not intending to harm any individuals other than himself. Detective Harris read an except of the signed note:

Here in the last hour, I yield to mercy . . . Jehovah found a path to my heart that love would conquer anger. The monster within me was getting stronger and while I could not save myself, I could spare others. Peace is within sight. I ask that authorities handle my disposal."

The message was written on hotel stationery, presumable from the Hotel Derek, where Moore spend his last two evenings. The suitcase also contained a hotel-room Gideon's Bible, which appears to have three passages marked from Genesis, Psalms and Revelations, all acknowledging what Harris called "the glory of God."

Both weapons, one of which was purchased from a Beaumont pawn show, were bought legally and are currently under investigation. Moore had no prior criminal record. 

Unreported incident 

On Tuesday, Moore kidnapped a female co-worker at gunpoint from the Beaumont apartment complex where he lived and worked as a maintenance man. He professed his love to her and asked her to take him to Houston. The woman, who is currently engaged, talked him into releasing her unharmed.

The incident allegedly went unreported until the following morning, when the woman claims she called area police.

Driving himself, Moore arrived in Houston on Tuesday around 3 p.m. and checked into the Hotel Derek by himself. While investigators know little of what he did during the two days before the shooting, Moore posted three chilling Facebook messages suggesting that he was planning something.

His final post at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday reads, "45 minutes and 59 seconds in God's Shadow and Time Stops."

HPD homicide detective Millard Waters said that the suspect remained in contact with his brother, who described Moore as "smart," "secretive" and "quiet" while also noting that he had some "mental issues" in the past.

"We know what this was and what it wasn't," Waters said. "It was a desperate act committed by a confused young man who has apparently lost all hope."

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