Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Man authorities believe shot Texas girl charged with murder

Man authorities believe shot Texas girl charged with murder

Authorities announced Tuesday that a second black man has been charged in the fatal drive-by shooting of a 7-year-old Houston black girl, whose death her family had initially believed was racially motivated.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said Larry D. Woodruffe, 24, is the suspected gunman in the drive-by shooting of Jazmine Barnes, who was killed December 30 while driving with her family to the grocery store.

News of the charges against Woodruffe came the same day that hundreds of mourners gathered for Jazmine's funeral at The Community of Faith Church in North Houston.

Eric Black Jr., 20, was arrested Saturday in a traffic stop for not using his turn signal.

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

Prosecutors say Woodruffe and Black mistakenly thought they were attacking people they'd fought at a club hours earlier when they shot at Jazmine and her family.

Initially, law enforcement were searching for a white man driving a red pickup truck, after witnesses reported seeing him speed away from the scene.

Barnes' family may have misidentified the assailants because it was dark and the shooting happened quickly, Gonzalez said.

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Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said her office will decide at a later date whether to pursue a death penalty or life sentence for the men if they are convicted.

Once Black was in custody, investigators discovered he had also been identified by an anonymous tipster as one of two suspects rumored to be involved in the shooting death of the second grader.

Hailey Cantrell says despite the arrests of two suspects in the murder case, as recent as Monday, there have been threatening comments on her Facebook page regarding her uncle, Robert Cantrell.

Jazmine's white casket was draped with purple flowers.

Police say the killing arose from a case of mistaken identity and that the family was not deliberately targeted.

"This was a wonderful turnout", LaPorsha Washington, Jazmine's mother, said through tears. Hailey Cantrell said she knows her uncle is no saint but insists he is not a racist and would never kill a child.

Jazmine was killed when a bullet struck her in the head, investigators said. Houston Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins has said he'll donate his playoff game check to the family.

"Remember that I am with you every morning, noon and night", a tearful Washington said as she read the poem.

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