January 06, 2019
A 20-year-old Houston man has been charged with capital murder in the death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was in a car with her family when she was killed in a drive-by shooting that ignited national outrage.
Murder charge filed in death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes in Houston
The Harris County Sheriff's Office on Sunday announced that Eric Black Jr. had been arrested without incident by investigators following up on a tip. The investigation was continuing and charges against other suspects are possible, the sheriff's office said in a statement.
Black "admitted to taking part" in the Dec. 30 shooting, the sheriff's office said.
"They were possibly shot as a result of mistaken identity," the statement said. Authorities released few details but scheduled a news conference for later Sunday.
Jazmine’s mother, LaPorsha Washington, has said she believes the shooting was racially motivated. The family is black; authorities did not immediately identify Black's race.
The shooting prompted a hashtag #JusticeforJazmine on social media. Journalist Shaun King and civil rights attorney Lee Merritt helped spearhead a reward drive of more than $100,000 for information leading to an arrest.
A GoFundMe page set up by her mother seeking $6,500 for expenses related to the tragedy drew more than $77,000. Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins donated his game check from Saturday's AFC wild-card game to the family to help cover funeral expenses.
The arrest came hours after a rally Saturday near a Houston Walmart that drew hundreds of supporters for Jazmine and her family. The family was driving to the store a week ago when an unidentified man in a red pickup pulled up next to their car and started shooting, authorities said at the time.
Jazmine died at the scene. Washington, 30, was shot in the arm but survived. Another child suffered injuries from shattered glass. Two other children were uninjured.
"I am grateful to our dedicated investigators, the partner law enforcement agencies that provided vital assistance, and tipsters from across the nation who pulled together to support our work to get justice for Jazmine," Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. "Our work is not finished, but I believe the people of Harris County can take comfort in knowing we have made great progress."
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