Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Man charged with murder of Texas seven-year-old

Man charged with murder of Texas seven-year-old

But thanks to an earlier tip from an anonymous source, police learned Black might have been involved in the December 30 drive-by shooting of Jazmine, who was shot in the head while riding in a auto with her three sisters and their mother.

In a statement early Sunday, the Harris County Sheriff's Office announced that 20-year-old Eric Black Jr. was charged with capital murder in Jazmine Barnes's death. "As police talked with him about the drugs, police reportedly received a tip about suspects with the initials "EB" and LW" being responsible for the shooting, according to ABC News.

Police say they do not think Barnes' family was the intended target of the shooting, calling the death a possible "result of mistaken identity".

People from across the country - including activists and celebrities like Gabrielle Union, Olivia Wilide and Ava DuVernay - had been trying to help with the investigation since the December 30 drive-by shooting.

Barnes was shot in the head, and her mother, LaPorsha Washington, was shot in the arm. The girl was black and the alleged shooter is described as a white man in a red truck.

Jazmine Barnes was shot dead while in her family's auto near Houston last month.

The sheriff declined to name the second person, citing the pending investigation, but prosecutors identified Larry Woodruffe as the second suspect in a court hearing for Black Saturday morning, the Houston Chronicle reported. The sheriff cautioned that authorities were still investigating, but said: "At this point, it does not appear it was related to race". "Our work is not finished, but I believe the people of Harris County can take comfort in knowing we have made great progress". Black "admitted to taking part in the shooting", the office wrote in a statement.

Bell, 65, who is black, said she is not alone in her belief that the shooting was a hate crime and that the suspect who has been charged is a scapegoat.

The tip that sent the case in a new direction came from social activist and writer Shaun King. Jazmine's family has said they believe the shooting was racially motivated.

Black said the gun used in the shooting was at his home, the affidavit said.

Merritt also told CNN he and King helped authorities identify the suspects who attacked a black man, DeAndre Harris, at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.

S. Lee Merritt, an attorney who helped put up a reward for the suspect and has been working with Barnes' family, suggested that witnesses mistook a fleeing bystander (a white man) as the actual shooter.

"She said, 'Momma, Jazmine's not moving". The officer searched Black's auto, found more marijuana and detained him, the prosecutor said.

Officials also released a video of a red pickup truck that they believed the shooter was driving.

Jazmine's father, Chris Cevilla, spoke about the update and said it was a major milestone. On Saturday, hundreds gathered at a rally near where the shooting happened, holding balloons, stuffed animals and signs that read, "Justice for Jazmine".

"They're going to have to prove this to me, because I know how they can do to cover themselves", she said.

Note: At the press conference, Gonzalez credited Shaun King with passing along a tip leading to the arrest.

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