Suspect arrested in Jazmine Barnes' killing

A man has been arrested and charged with capital murder in the death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was shot as she rode in her family's car in Texas.

Posted: Jan 7, 2019 9:44 AM
Updated: Jan 7, 2019 10:03 AM

After an intense, week-long manhunt, Texas police have arrested a suspect in the drive-by killing of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes.

Eric Black Jr. faces a charge of capital murder in Jazmine's death. The second-grader was riding in a car with her mother and three sisters when she was shot in the head the morning of December 30.

Black was arrested based on a tip and has admitted to taking part in the shooting, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said overnight.

Before the arrest, police had released a sketch of the suspect compiled from descriptions from Jazmine's mother and three sisters. Authorities said the sketch depicted a white man in his 40s.

But Black, the man charged with capital murder, is 20 years old and black.

S. Lee Merritt, an attorney advising the Barnes family, said the arrest "was welcome news to the family."

"At the same time, it was a major shock to the family," Merritt told CNN on Sunday morning. "Up until this point, at least four independent witnesses and a composite sketch had identified the primary suspect as a 40-something-year-old white male."

While it may be difficult to understand the discrepancy, "it is imaginable that witnesses confused a fleeing bystander for the actual shooter," Merritt tweeted.

A possible case of mistaken identity

Shortly after Jazmine was killed, both the sheriff's office and Jazmine's mother said the shooting seemed unprovoked. Just as the suspect evaded authorities, so did the motive.

Now authorities say the gunman may have been trying to shoot someone else.

"At this time, investigators do not believe Jazmine's family was the intended target of the shooting, and that they were possibly shot as a result of mistaken identity," the sheriff's office said.

"Investigators are continuing to pursue evidence that could possibly lead to other suspects being charged in this case."

How a morning coffee run turned tragic

On the morning of Jazmine's death, she and her sisters were still in their pajamas as their mom drove to Joe V's Smart Shop to get supplies for breakfast.

At about 7 a.m., a man drove up next to their car and opened fire, Jazmine's mother LaPorsha Washington said.

Washington, 30, was shot in the arm, while Jazmine's 6-year-old sister was hit by shattered glass. Jazmine's two teenage sisters were not injured.

But minutes later, Jazmine was pronounced dead.

An outpouring of support

Hundreds of mourners gathered Saturday outside the Walmart near where Jazmine was killed.

Washington, still recovering from her gunshot wound, thanked everyone who came to honor her daughter. She said Jazmine would have celebrated her birthday next month.

"I'm telling you, every time I see one of y'all reach out for me, I can hold my head up," she said. "I can get up in the morning."

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

More than 2,700 people have donated to a GoFundMe set up for Jazmine's funeral expenses and family. Houston Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins has said he'll donate his playoff game check to the family.

Jazmine will also be remembered Tuesday during a "Justice for Jazmine Barnes Community Rally" honoring "all murdered victims in Houston/Harris County," according to organizers.

Services for Jazmine are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday with a viewing at Green House International Church. Her funeral is at noon. Mourners plan to release purple balloons -- Jazmine's favorite color.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845108

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161242006
Mobile741961379
Madison53291732
Shelby38328368
Baldwin38074589
Tuscaloosa36017641
Montgomery34483781
Lee25557263
Calhoun22585518
Morgan22454406
Etowah20016517
Marshall18781316
Houston17729425
St. Clair16880358
Limestone16138218
Cullman16050303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14984306
Talladega14191299
DeKalb12971269
Walker12029380
Blount10715192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10161194
Coffee9415192
Colbert9341208
Dale9018191
Tallapoosa7255201
Russell707865
Chilton7018170
Escambia6955143
Covington6933195
Franklin6342108
Chambers5784142
Marion5403130
Dallas5285209
Pike5118109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369480
Butler3434100
Marengo342393
Monroe337066
Randolph334367
Pickens333188
Fayette330085
Henry320666
Hale318389
Cherokee317763
Crenshaw260477
Washington257052
Cleburne254460
Lamar251453
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192862
Coosa185047
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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