Texas police file charges in death of 7-year-old black girl

Saul Bowman
January 7, 2019

Washington and Jazmine's father, Chris Cevilla, said they remain hopeful that their daughter's killer will be found.

Hundreds in the Houston community gathered Saturday to honor the 7-year-old victim of a driveby shooting whose killer is still on the run.

He was arrested Saturday during a traffic stop, and he has been jailed without bail.

Eric Black Jr was taken into custody after being identified as a suspect based on a tip and has admitted to taking part in the shooting, the Harris county sheriff's office said in a statement.

On Dec. 30, 2018, Barnes was riding to get coffee with her mother LaPorsha Washington and siblings when armed suspects began firing into Washington's vehicle, causing her auto windows to shatter. But Gonzalez revealed Sunday that a black man has been arrested in the case. Eric Black is black, but police say other suspects could be involved.

Currently, investigators do not think that the family was targeted intentionally, suggesting it was a possible case of "mistaken identity". The station is reporting that "the alleged shooter is black, not white, and also that the shooting may have been gang-related".

The sheriff released an artist's sketch showing a thin, white man in his 30s or 40s with a 5 o'clock shadow.

Campaigners had feared the shooting, on an African-American family, may have been racially motivated.

The family, who is black, didn't give the truck a second thought until it changed lanes, moving around from behind to the driver's side of Washington's vehicle and the driver opened fired.

"This is no longer a Houston case", Lee said.

"At the same time, it was a major shock to the family", Merritt told CNN on Sunday morning.

It appears that man was an innocent bystander who fled, actually fearing for his life as well.

"She said, 'Momma, Jazmine's not moving". Just as the suspect evaded authorities, so did the motive.

"Investigators do not believe Jazmine's family was the intended target of the shooting", the Harris County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

The heartbroken mother of a seven-year-old girl who was killed when a gunman opened fire on their vehicle has vowed the murderer will be caught.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says the shooting happened very quickly while Jazmine, her mother and three sisters were at a stoplight. Her two teenage sisters were unharmed.

But minutes later, Jazmine was pronounced dead. A community rally to show support for Jazmine's family was planned for Saturday.

Washington and her four daughters were driving about 15 miles east of downtown Houston at about 6.50am last Sunday when they were attacked for no apparent reason. She said Jazmine would have celebrated her birthday next month. "You took my baby from me and you have no care in the world".

"I've got a handsome angel up there watching over me", she said.

The tragedy of Jazmine's death has made a nationwide impact.

Almost 2,500 people have donated to a GoFundMe set up for Jazmine's funeral expenses and family. Deandre Hopkins pledged his game check from the Houston Texans' playoff game to assist and Shaquille O'Neal and another officer have donated a cashier's check to cover expenses.

Shaquille O'Neal and Houston Senior Police Officer Kenneth Miles covered the cost of Jazmine's funeral service.

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