Suspect in senseless murder of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes reportedly admits he shot her by mistake
Two men suspected to have been responsible for the senseless murder of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes are now in custody and have been charged with murder. Investigation reveals the shooting was a case of mistaken identity.
News outlets have confirmed that 20-year-old Eric Black, Jr. and 24-year-old Larry Woodruffe have been charged for the murder of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes during a drive-by shooting on December 30.
THE SENSELESS MURDER OF A 7-YEAR-OLD
Barnes was with her mother, La Porsha Washington and her three sisters inside their family vehicle near a Walmart store in Houston when the suspects opened fire on them. Barnes was shot in the head and killed instantly. Her mother was shot in the arm but was able to recount what happened while being treated at the hospital.
Contrary to a sketch of the suspect that was released and portrayed as a white man, Black and Woodruffe are are African American. Black was arrested by the Harris County police after receiving a tip. He later admitted his involvement in the shooting though he is not believed to be the shooter.
Woodruffe, who is also currently under the custody of the Harris County Sherriff’s Office is suspected to be the man behind the gun.
Second man charged with murder as 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes laid to rest in Houston https://t.co/r7WJVYPuN4— TIME (@TIME) January 8, 2019
After further investigation, authorities learned that the death of Barnes was a result of a mistaken identity. An unnamed informant told activist and journalist Shaun King that the suspects thought the car Barnes and her family was riding was owned by a person they had an altercation with earlier. They only realized the next day when the story came out in the news that they made a mistake.
WRONG INITIAL SUSPECT
Barnes’ death caused a wave of sympathy and outrage over its senselessness. It was initially labeled a hate crime when Barnes’ sisters previously described the shooter as a white man in a red pick-up. Investigators later learned that the man in the pick-up was just a witness. It was likely the children only mistook it as the vehicle carrying the suspect because everything happened so fast and it was also dark.
My question to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee at today's #JazmineBarnes press conference: Was it irresponsible to suggest this sweet little girl's murder was a hate crime before knowing all the facts? Thoughts? #KHOU11 #HTownRush pic.twitter.com/wiUdUKmyte— Marcelino Benito (@MarcelinoKHOU) January 7, 2019
HOW THE SUSPECTS WERE MADE
Black was taken into custody after he was pulled over by police on January 5 due to a traffic violation. The cops later found marijuana in his car. While in court for a drug violation, police received a tip that the initials of Barnes’ shooters were “EB” and “LW.” Black later confessed to owning a pistol similar to the one used in the murder scene.
Both Black and Woodruffe have been charged for murder as of Tuesday.
This is what the casket for a child looks like. White. Draped in flowers of her favorite color. A message reads: Jazmine “Jazzy Fay” Barnes. #JazmineBarnes was murdered on the way to a grocery store December 30th. The 2nd grader should’ve been returning to school today. #khou11 pic.twitter.com/spGl6gkEEu— Melissa Correa (@KHOUmelissa) January 8, 2019
Barnes was laid to rest on January 8. Among those who helped with the funeral expenses was retired NBA player Shaquille O’Neal. He personally visited the family of Barnes and turned over a cashier’s check.
Barnes’ white casket was adorned with purple flowers with the words “Princess Jazmine” sewn into its lid. Friends, family, and people who came to pay their respects were mostly wearing purple, Barnes’ favorite color. Her mother read a letter recognizing the day as a celebration with the assurance that Barnes was among the angels in heaven smiling down on them.
The casket carrying Jazmine Barnes enters Community of Faith Church in Houston. The funeral for the 7-year old murder victim will be held at noon today. #khou #HTownRush @HTownRush pic.twitter.com/u1MWGfghX8— The Bishop (@BillBishopKHOU) January 8, 2019