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: 307332

Reported Deaths: 7095
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20757248
Hinds19869408
Harrison17475302
Rankin13307275
Jackson13095243
Madison9886210
Lee9854169
Jones8289160
Forrest7522146
Lauderdale7185237
Lowndes6261144
Lamar610284
Lafayette6026117
Washington5279132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4440103
Pearl River4418139
Warren4277118
Marshall4267100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4056132
Union403575
Neshoba3984176
Lincoln3869107
Hancock371985
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3177104
Scott310472
Yazoo304268
Alcorn297664
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265679
Wayne261341
Leake260973
Grenada254882
Covington254380
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237647
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182354
Stone179131
Clarke176676
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163130
Yalobusha158636
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125833
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite119941
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105332
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95126
Humphreys94332
Franklin81723
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
Marshall11952219
Houston10379278
Elmore9988200
Limestone9806147
Cullman9467188
St. Clair9422234
Lauderdale9208227
DeKalb8745181
Talladega8042171
Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
Colbert6200130
Coffee5397112
Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58624
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