Texas dad pleads for help in finding gunman who killed 7-year-old girl

The father of a 7-year-old girl killed in a drive-by shooting pleaded with the public to help authorities in...

Posted: Jan 2, 2019 9:06 AM
Updated: Jan 2, 2019 9:06 AM

The father of a 7-year-old girl killed in a drive-by shooting pleaded with the public to help authorities in the manhunt for a gunman who opened fire on a mother and children in a car near a Houston-area Walmart.

"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," an emotional Christopher Cevilla told reporters on Monday. "Just put yourself in my shoes, in my family's shoes."

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Jazmine Barnes, her mother and three siblings were driving near the store in northeastern Harris County close to 7 a.m. on Sunday when a man pulled next to them in a red or maroon four-door pickup truck and fired several shots, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said. Jazmine was killed at the scene, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.

Jazmine's mother, LaPorsha Washington, 30, was shot in the arm and Jazmine's 6-year-old sister was struck by shattered glass, the sheriff said. Two teens were unharmed.

Authorities were working to determine whether the shooting was random or targeted, and they are searching for the shooter. He is described as a bearded white male, possibly in his 40s, who was wearing a red hoodie, according to the sheriff's office. The victims are black.

"It's our belief that it was totally unprovoked, whatever it was, and we're leaving no stone unturned. We're going to leave every motive out there as a possibility," Gonzalez said.

He added: "There was nothing to indicate that the family did anything wrong in any way. They were simply just driving along the service road when this happened to them."

'He intentionally killed my child'

Washington told CNN affiliate KTRK she turned around and looked back at the street and heard shots.

"They came through my window, broke my glass, and hit me in my arm," she told the station from her hospital bed.

Washington said: "He sped off in front of us and stopped, and still continued to fire at us."

"It was not fair. He intentionally killed my child for no reason. He didn't even know her. He didn't even know who she was," she said.

Washington said one of her daughters discovered Jazmine had been shot.

"She said, 'Momma, Jazmine's not moving. She's not talking.' I turned around and my 7-year-old was shot in the head," Washington said, according to KTRK.

The sheriff said authorities don't have information that the gunman yelled anything to the victims during the shooting.

"We don't have any reason to believe he wasn't aware of what he was doing," the sheriff said.

The sheriff's office released a photo of the pickup truck believed to be involved in the shooting taken from a surveillance video taken before the incident. Authorities also urged the public to look at their surveillance footage and try to remember if they had seen the truck before.

"Please keep this family in your prayers," Gonzalez said in a Facebook post. "A total of 5 occupants in the car witnessed this child, their loved one, shot and killed before their eyes. So senseless. It's never easy, and extra hard during the holiday season."

'Innocent young girl'

The sheriff said he had never met the 7-year-old but noticed her "million-dollar smile" in photographs.

Cevilla said his daughter was "loving, caring, very passionate with people, very sweet, just a innocent young girl, very smart in school."

He added: "It's just a lot of things that's been robbed of me and my family at this moment that we will never be able to get back."

The Sheldon Independent School District said Jazmine was a second-grader at Monahan Elementary and "will truly be missed by all students and staff."

Gonzalez urged the suspect to turn himself in.

"My hope is that every passing moment that his conscience is eating away at him ... and I hope it's that case forever," he said.

The sheriff said: "We're going to find you."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 250869

Reported Deaths: 5481
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
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Union337457
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Scott241043
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Simpson232367
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Coahoma223154
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Holmes167867
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Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
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Webster90624
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Tunica84521
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Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
Etowah11604157
Calhoun10982200
Marshall10108107
Houston8474129
Cullman7960104
Limestone790174
Elmore7723101
DeKalb764697
St. Clair7460120
Lauderdale745183
Talladega6102108
Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
Russell323810
Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
Choctaw51224
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