The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said, in a statement early Sunday, that homicide investigators have filed a capital murder charge against Eric Black Jr., 20, for the shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes in Texas.
“Investigators identified Black as a suspect based on a tip,”
states the sheriff’s office. “Subsequent investigation revealed evidence that corroborated the tip, and Black was taken into custody in East Harris County without incident. Black then admitted to taking part in the shooting.”
A second man, Larry Woodruffe, 24, has also been taken into custody, Lee Merritt, the Barnes family’s lawyer, said. According to Merritt, Woodruffe is “believed to be the shooter.”
The shooting occurred when Jazmine’s mother was driving Jazmine and her three sisters southbound on the East Sam Houston Parkway feeder road near Wallisville Road on Dec. 30. The shooter opened fire into their car.
“At this time, investigators do not believe Jazmine’s family was the intended target of the shooting, and that they were possibly shot as a result of mistaken identity,” the sheriff’s office said.
Both suspects in custody are Black, but on Thursday, police released a sketch of the suspected shooter who was believed to be a white man in his 30s or 40s.
This is the man witnesses say murdered 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes on 12/30 as her family drove on the E. Sam Houston Pkwy frontage road at Wallisville Road. Thin white man, 30’s-40’s, in a red pickup. Call 713-221-6000 or @CrimeStopHOU at 713-222-TIPS #JusticeForJazmine #hounews pic.twitter.com/URR3w2Wxbm
HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) January 3, 2019
Merritt addressed the shooter’s description in an
Instagram post on Sunday:
“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 bystander 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.”
Activist Shaun King, who offered a reward for the arrest of the perpetrator, said, on Twitter, that he provided the sheriff’s office a tip leading to the men involved.
BREAKING: Two men that I reported to @SheriffEd_HCSO on this past Thursday have been arrested and charged with the capital murder of Jazmine Barnes.
Names: Larry Woodruffe and Eric Black
It took us from Thursday to Sunday to truly understand this case.
Shaun King (@shaunking) January 6, 2019