Two men were arrested early Sunday in connection with the death of Jazmine Barnes, a little girl gunned down last week close to a Walmart parking lot in Houston.
CNN reports that Eric Black Jr. was arrested and charged with capital murder after the Harris County Office received a tip. Black has reportedly admitted being involved to the shooting, but another man was allegedly the gunman. A previous composite sketch indicated the suspect was a while male in his 40s, but Black is a 20-year-old black male.
“It was a major shock to the family,” the Barnes’ family lawyer, S. Lee Merritt, told CNN on Sunday morning. “Up until this point, at least four independent witnesses and a composite sketch had identified the primary suspect as a 40-something-year-old white male.”
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I’ll go ahead and state the obvious. 24 y/o Larry Woodruffe doesn’t fit the description offered by the 4 different witness statements or composite sketch. Accordingly, this tip was difficult to believe. Assuming the confession elicited is reliable— it is possible the previously identified suspect seen fleeing by several independent witnesses was a bystanader attempting to escape the shooting. To observers, however, he appeared to be the shooter himself. More information will have to be drawn out before there is a conviction. Nonetheless, the community is collectively responsible for obtaining evidence that has led to a credible arrest and we are closer to answers. That much is laudable.
According to ABC News, a second male, identified as 24-year-old Larry Woodruffe, was also arrested. Merritt said that Woodruffe is “believed to be the shooter.”
The sheriff’s office announced on Sunday that the shooting appeared to be a case of mistaken identity.
“Larry Woodruffe doesn’t fit the description offered by the 4 different witness statements or composite sketch. Accordingly, this tip was difficult to believe,” Merritt said. “Assuming the confession elicited is reliable— it is possible the previously identified suspect seen fleeing by several independent witnesses was a bystanader (sic) attempting to escape the shooting.”
Jazmine’s mother, 30-year-old LaPorsha Washington, was shot in the shoulder while driving with her four daughters, ranging in ages from six to 15, when someone driving a red pickup truck, pulled up to her car. The gunman began firing rapid shots. Washington was shot in the arm and her 6-year-old daughter was shot as well, but both survived.
Jazmine, who was seated behind her mother, in the backseat on the driver’s side of the vehicle, was shot in the head and almost immediately died.
The story is still developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
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[Feature Photo: Jazmine Barnes/Handout]