Suspects Fired at Jazmine Barnes’s Car by Mistake, Report Says

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
January 6, 2019Updated: January 6, 2019

Two suspects were arrested in the shooting death of 7-year-old Texan Jazmine Barnes, and officials said the men fired at the car by mistake.

According to a report from ABC13, citing court documents filed in the case, the suspects thought it was another vehicle when they opened fire last week leaving a Houston-area Walmart parking lot.

Eric Black Jr., 20, was charged with capital murder in the case, officials said. Another suspect, 24-year-old Larry Woodruffe, was also taken into custody, tweeted an ABC13 reporter.

An investigation tip corroborated evidence before officials took Black into custody in Harris County without incident, according to the news outlet. Officials said Black later admitted to the shooting.

On Jan. 6 at 5 a.m. local time, Black appeared in court. In the courtroom appearance, it was revealed that the suspects had fired into the wrong vehicle after watching news reports.

Black also was not driving a red pickup truck, as the Harris County Sheriff’s Office previously thought. He was driving a rental vehicle at the time of the shooting.

The sheriff’s office also tweeted several times it was originally searching for a white male in his 40s, but both Black and Woodruffe are black.

Amid the new allegations, the sheriff’s office tweeted, “All evidence gathered so far in the Jazmine Barnes Homicide case supports investigators’ strong belief that she and her family were innocent victims.”

The ABC13 report said Black returned the rental vehicle after the shooting and got a new one, which he was driving when he was arrested.

Black, meanwhile, told officials that the pistol he used to shoot inside the vehicle was located at his residence, and investigators discovered a 9 mm handgun, consistent with shell casings found at the scene of the crime.

Black is now being held without bail.

Jazmine was traveling with her mother and other siblings at the time of the shooting. LaPorsha Washington, the mother, was injured in the attack.

“Investigators are continuing to pursue evidence that could possibly lead to other suspects being charged in this case,” the Harris County Sheriff’s Office statement said about the latest details of Black’s arrest, CNN reported.

Location of shooting
The shooting occurred on the 15400 block of Wallisville in Harris County in the Walmart parking lot. (Google Street View)

“At this time, investigators do not believe Jazmine’s family was the intended target of the shooting, and that they were possibly shot as a result of mistaken identity,” the office also said.

Jazmine’s mother expressed shock that her daughter was killed.

“I’m telling you, every time I see one of y’all reach out for me, I can hold my head up,” Washington was quoted by CNN as saying. “I can get up in the morning.”

Jazmine’s father, Christopher Cevilla, also thanked people for their support, and before Black’s capture, he pleaded for the public’s assistance in finding his daughter’s killer.

“I just want anybody, whoever, out there that knows anything about the murder of my daughter, to just please step up as if it was your own,” he told CNN. “Just put yourself in my shoes, in my family’s shoes.”

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