Tuesday, 20 August, 2019

Family of man wrongfully accused in Jazmine Barnes' shooting speaks out

A mourner approaches the casket of Jazmine Barnes during a viewing ceremony before the memorial services on Tuesday Jan. 8 2019 at the Community of Faith Church in Houston. Barnes was fatally shot Dec. 30 2019 while in a car with her family during Second Suspect Charged With Murder In Shooting of 7-Year-Old Jazmine Barnes
Deanna Wagner | 10 January, 2019, 17:45

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said 24-year-old Larry D. Woodruffe has been charged with capital murder in the December 30 deadly shooting of Jazmine Barnes.

After a week-long manhunt, amplified by the help of social awareness of the case on Twitter, police have arrested and charged Eric Black Jr.

Woodruffe was charged as Jazmine's funeral took place Tuesday afternoon, attended by hundreds of people at a Houston church. Her mother, LaPorsha Washington, 30, and one of Jazmine's sisters were injured in what appeared to be a random attack.

Woodruffe, 24, has been charged with capital murder after the little girl was gunned down in her mother's auto in Houston, Texas as they drove to a grocery store.

As NPR reported, "Prosecutors say Black and an accomplice mistook the family's auto for that of someone they had gotten into an argument with the night before".

Other speakers included Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, whose office is investigating the shooting and who told the crowd, "I look forward to the day where I can truly say rest in peace to Jazmine".

Both men charged are black but a photofit of a suspect released last week showed a white male believed to be in his 30s or 40s.

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Court records did not list an attorney for Woodruffe. But while the latter quickly admitted to his involvement in the drive-by attack, Woodruffe was initially booked into the Harris County Jail on felony drug possession pending further investigation, officials said.

Prosecutors say they found a 9mm handgun, believed to be the murder weapon, when they searched Black's home. As the service began, Jazmine's mother told her family, "Y'all ready?" Both men were taken into custody on Saturday after police received a tip from activist Shaun King, who said one of his "confidential informants" had identified the suspects. "Remember that I am with you every morning, noon and night", a tearful Washington said as she read the poem. Jazmine and her mom and sisters are African-American.

"When Jazmine Barnes was killed I pledged to find who killed her".

Washington thanked everyone who came to honor her daughter, whose birthday is next month, she said.

A GoFundMe account set up to help cover funeral costs has raised more than $82,000 from almost 3,000 donors.

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins pledged his National Football League playoff game check to Jazmine's family. O'Neal and a Houston police officer, Kenneth Miles, brought a cashier's check to the family last week to pay for the funeral.