STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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."

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Shootings

Continents and regions

North America

Southwestern United States

Texas

The Americas

United States

Children

Criminal investigations

Criminal law

Demographic groups

Families and children

Family members and relatives

Fugitives and manhunts

Homicide

Law and legal system

Missing persons

Population and demographics

Society

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.

Confirmed Cases: 115763

Reported Deaths: 3263
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
Oktibbeha202454
Bolivar201677
Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
Covington97527
Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 158701

Reported Deaths: 2680
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23292377
Mobile16916315
Tuscaloosa10345140
Montgomery10250197
Madison935096
Shelby739063
Baldwin665869
Lee654665
Calhoun459961
Marshall439550
Etowah428551
Houston417034
Morgan416435
DeKalb342629
Elmore320853
St. Clair295542
Limestone287230
Walker279492
Talladega266435
Cullman248024
Lauderdale229442
Jackson215915
Autauga205931
Franklin205531
Colbert202132
Russell19493
Blount193225
Chilton188432
Dallas186627
Coffee177111
Dale176351
Covington174729
Escambia172730
Clarke135217
Chambers135044
Pike134113
Tallapoosa132987
Marion108129
Barbour10339
Marengo101922
Butler101140
Winston92913
Geneva9067
Lawrence85832
Pickens85218
Bibb84014
Randolph82716
Hale76830
Washington74912
Clay74412
Cherokee73814
Henry7176
Lowndes71328
Bullock64917
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60830
Perry5926
Fayette57713
Cleburne5698
Wilcox56812
Conecuh56113
Macon53620
Lamar4965
Sumter47221
Choctaw39212
Greene34216
Coosa2043
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 60°
Columbus
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 61°
Oxford
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 54°
Starkville
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 55°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather