Jazmine Barnes, a 7 year old, was murdered in Houston during a drive-by shooting that ignited a racially charged outrage. On December 30th, Eric Black Jr., a 20 year old, admitted involvement in the shooting, which was the result of mistaken identity. Black admitted that he and his partner in crime did not realize they shot the wrong person until they saw the reports later that day. Black admitting his involvement stated that it was not him who fired but his partner in crime “Larry”.
In court Sunday, prosecutors said Black admitted he was driving a Kia SUV when a passenger identified as “Larry” fired on a car driven by Jazmine’s mother, LaPorsha Washington.
Jazmine died instantly. Washington, 30, was shot in the arm but survived. Another child suffered injuries from shattered glass. Two other children were uninjured.
Gonzalez declined to confirm whether the alleged shooter was in custody, but he said it was likely charges would be filed against a second suspect.
“All evidence gathered so far in the Jazmine Barnes homicide case supports investigators’ strong belief that she and her family were innocent victims,” the sheriff’s office tweeted.
Authorities had said they were searching for a white man driving a red pickup. Washington said she believed the shooting was racially motivated.
Gonzalez said video from near the scene indicated that a red pickup was nearby.
“We do not believe in any way that the family was involved in anything nefarious,” he said. “You are talking about small children, they witnessed something very traumatic. Very likely the last thing they saw was the red truck.”
Lee Merritt, a prominent civil rights lawyer representing the family, said authorities identified Larry and he is also black.
“It is possible the previously identified suspect seen fleeing by several independent witnesses was a bystander attempting to escape the shooting,” Merritt said on Instagram.
The tragedy prompted a hashtag #JusticeforJazmine on social media. Merritt and King helped spearhead a reward drive of more than $100,000 for information leading to an arrest. It was not immediately revealed who, if anyone, would collect the reward.
A GoFundMe page set up by Washington seeking $6,500 for expenses related to the tragedy drew more than $75,000. Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins donated his game check from Saturday’s AFC wild-card game to the family to help cover funeral expenses.
The arrest came hours after a rally Saturday near a Houston Walmart that drew hundreds of supporters for Jazmine and her family. The rally took place near the scene of the shooting.