Jazmine Barnes killing: Suspect in 7-year-old's death held without bond

Authorities with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office have charged Eric Black Jr., 20, with capital murder in the death of Jazmine Barnes.

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The 7-year-old girl was in a car with her family at a Houston-area Walmart on Dec. 30 when shots were fired into the vehicle, injuring her family members and causing her death, according to authorities.

Update 2:40 p.m. EST Jan. 7: A judge ordered Black be held without bond Monday at a court hearing.

Authorities believe Black, who is charged with capital murder, was driving the SUV from which the shots were fired Dec. 30.

Black told investigators he and another man mistook the vehicle Jazmine was in and thought it was being driven by men who they had gotten into an altercation with earlier, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The newspaper reported a second person of interest in the case was named in court as Larry Woodruffe. According to KHOU, was being held in jail Monday on unrelated drug charges. As of Monday afternoon, Woodruffe has not been charged in connection to Jazmine's death.

Update 3:40 p.m. EST Jan. 6:  A funeral for Jazmine will be held at noon Tuesday, according to Pastor Eddie Andre Deckard of Green House International Church, where services will be located. A viewing will be held earlier that day at 10 a.m.

Update 3:30 p.m. EST Jan. 6: Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Black "admitted to being involved in this shooting incident." He would not specify what Black's role was as the investigation is still ongoing.

Gonzalez said the Harris County Sheriff’s Office does not regulate rewards for tips, and that the tip that led to Black will be rewarded through Shawn King, the popular Twitter activist who collected funds.

Gonzalez would not say if a second suspect was in custody.

“It’s very likely that more charges will be coming forward in this case,” Gonzalez said.

Detectives are working to determine who the intended victims were in the shooting.

Update 3:00 p.m. EST Jan. 6: Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said at a news conference Sunday afternoon that a tip led to the arrest of Eric Black Jr. in the shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes. Thousands of tips were sent in, he said.

Gonzalez said the age of the victims in the car may be why the suspect in the shooting was initially reported as being a white man with blue eyes in a red truck. He would not name others connected to the shooting who may be suspects. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said the children ranged in age from 6 to 13.

“We do believe there is a second (suspect),” Gonzalez said. “There could still be charges filed in this case.”

Gonzalez said that the shooting was a case of mistaken identity and that Jazmine and her family were not targeted. He also said race did not appear to be a factor in the death.

Update 10:50 a.m. EST Jan. 6: Authorities released an image of Black:


Original report: Deputies have made an arrest in connection with the shooting death of a 7-year-old girl near a Houston-area Walmart.

According to The Associated Press, Eric Black Jr., 20, has been charged with capital murder in connection with the Dec. 30 slaying of Jazmine Barnes, 7, in Harris County.

Related: Texas father asks for help finding suspect who killed daughter in drive-by shooting

A tip led to Black's arrest, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said in a news release early Sunday.

Investigators said Black "admitted to taking part in the shooting," the release said, adding that authorities are looking into evidence that could lead to more arrests.

>> Read the news release here

According to a Houston Chronicle report last week, LaPorsha Washington, 30, was driving near the Harris County store Dec. 30 with her four children when a man inside a red truck started shooting into their car, then fled, deputies said.

Washington's daughter, Jazmine, was shot and killed, the Chronicle reported. Washington suffered a gunshot wound to the arm, and a 6-year-old child also was hurt, the newspaper said.

Witnesses initially described the suspected shooter as a white man in his 40s with a beard, deputies said. The AP reported that the family of Jazmine, who was African-American, had thought "the shooting was racially motivated."

A mugshot or physical description of Black was not immediately available.

On Saturday, the Sheriff's Office tweeted that its investigation had "taken a new direction" and detectives were "interviewing persons of interest."

Officials "do not believe Jazmine's family was the intended target of the shooting," the release said, adding that the victims may have been shot "as a result of mistaken identity."

Related: 7-year-old girl killed in drive-by shooting outside Texas Walmart

Authorities are encouraging anyone who has information about the shooting to call Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS or 713-221-6000.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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