Sheriff: Man in truck was witness, not suspect


Authorities in Texas have charged a 20-year-old man in the shooting death of a seven-year-old girl who was killed while riding in a vehicle with her family.

Prosecutors charged a 20-year-old black man, Eric Black Jr., in the December 30 death of Jazmine Barnes. The sheriff says an investigation revealed evidence that corroborated the tip and lead to the arrest of Black on Saturday afternoon.

Jazmine Barnes was killed while riding in a vehicle with her family Sunday morning. She's concerned about her three daughters as they grieve the death of their sister, particularly the 13-year-old who she says hasn't shed a tear and is keeping her grief bottled inside.

Multiple law enforcement sources, the victim's family attorney, Lee Merit, and social activist Shaun King said "LW" is 24-year-old Larry Woodruffe.

The sheriff's office added that they were still examining evidence to determine whether any other suspects could be charged.

Woodruffe and Black allegedly shot Barnes due to gang retaliation in a case of mistaken identity, according to KTRK.

Late Saturday, the sheriff's office said on Twitter that the investigation had "taken a new direction".

Black also was not driving a red pickup truck, as was previously thought by the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

A second suspect could be charged, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said in a statement released just after midnight Sunday. The shooting occurred as the family was heading to the store.

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Police said Ms Washington, Jazmine and her three sisters were in the vehicle near a Houston-area Walmart store on 30 December when a red pick-up truck pulled alongside them and a man inside opened fire.

A $100,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

Police believe that the killing was a case of mistaken identity, and that Jazmine's family had no prior contact with the suspects.

Homicide detectives took over the interview and Black allegedly admitted to driving the vehicle as it opened fire on Barnes' vehicle.

"I'm telling you, every time I see one of y'all reach out for me, I can hold my head up", Washington was quoted by CNN as saying.

Authorities had originally been searching for a white suspect in a red pickup truck, but they said that person turned out to be an innocent driver fleeing the gunfire.

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

Some wielded signs that said "Justice for Jazmine", mirroring the hashtag used by advocates and police alike to publicize the killing.

Almost 2,500 people have donated to a GoFundMe set up for Jazmine's funeral expenses and family.

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