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Houston Police Arrest Two Suspects In Murder Of 7-Year-Old Jazmine Barnes

Tragic murder is thought to be result of mistaken identity.
Houston Police Arrest Two Suspects In Murder Of 7-Year-Old Jazmine Barnes
Image from: Harris County Sheriff's Office

One week after senseless tragedy struck a family on an early morning coffee run, two suspects are in custody.

LaPorsha Washington and 3 of her daughters are mourning their "missing piece," 7-year-old Jazmine, who was killed when someone pulled up next to their car and fired shots at them. Ms. Washington was injured, shot in the arm, but Jazmine was killed immediately in the back seat. A nationwide manhunt was launched, and Houston police begged for tips and information.

According to The Washington Post,

In a statement early Sunday, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office announced that 20-year-old Eric Black Jr. was charged with capital murder in Jazmine Barnes’s death. He was identified as a suspect based on a tip, police said, adding that Black later admitted he was involved in the shooting.

He was arrested without incident, and is believed to have driven the car, while Woodruffe is thought to be the shooter. He gave consent for he police to search his apartment, where he said the pistol used in the shooting was. In court it was revealed they learned they'd shot into the wrong car by watching the news. Woodruffe was arrested after having been stopped on a traffic violation, then found with drugs. He learned in court he was also being held in Jazmine Barnes' murder.

It was widely thought to be a hate crime, since the several witness identified a thin white man in a red truck as the shooter, and the family is Black. Police released a sketch of a caucasian man with blue eyes along with a video of a red truck speeding away, and asked for any tips. Suspects Black Jr. and Woodruffe are Black, though. According to Lee Merritt, the family's attorney,

“The family is still really grateful that it seems law enforcement has identified the shooter,” Merritt said. “However, all the information up until yesterday has been that the shooter was an older white male in a red truck, that came from not only one of the victims, 15-year-old Alexis, but from an eyewitness nearby.”


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He added, “We had at least four independent witnesses who believed the shooter in this situation was a white male .

It wasn't until yesterday police revealed the investigation had changed direction, and that they now have suspects in custody. Regardless of race of the perpetrator, the loss of a child is immeasurable and incomprehensible. All thoughts and support should go to Jazmine's mom, Ms. Washington:

“We are so thankful to everyone who helped my family find my daughters killer,” Jazmine's mother LaPorsha Washington told The Daily Beast in an interview Sunday. “Jazmine is gone, but now we have some answers to start the healing process. We will continue to fight for her and this is just the beginning.”

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