A 20-year-old Houston man has been charged with capital murder in the death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was in a car with her family when she was killed in a drive-by shooting that ignited national outrage.
Eric Black Jr. was arrested without incident by investigators following up on a tip, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office announced Sunday. The investigation was continuing and charges against other suspects are possible, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Black admitted involvement in the Dec. 30 shooting, the sheriff’s office said, adding that Jazmine was “possibly shot as a result of mistaken identity.” Authorities released few details but scheduled a news conference for later Sunday.
More: Texans’ DeAndre Hopkins donating playoff game check
More: ‘We will find you’: Manhunt after 7-year-old shot, killed in car
During a court hearing early Sunday, prosecutors said Black, who is also African American, admitted to investigators he was driving a Kia SUV when a passenger in his vehicle identified as “Larry” opened fire on Washington’s car.
Jazmine’s family is African American. Her mother, LaPorsha Washington, had said she believes the shooting was racially motivated.
The shooting prompted a hashtag #JusticeforJazmine on social media. Journalist Shaun King and civil rights attorney Lee Merritt helped spearhead a reward drive of more than $100,000 for information leading to an arrest.
A GoFundMe page set up by her mother seeking $6,500 for expenses related to the tragedy drew more than $77,000. Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins donated his game check from Saturday’s AFC wild-card game to the family to help cover funeral expenses.
The arrest came hours after a rally Saturday near a Houston Walmart that drew hundreds of supporters for Jazmine and her family. The rally took place near the scene of the shooting, where Jazmine died instantly, authorities said. Washington, 30, was shot in the arm but survived. Another child suffered injuries from shattered glass. Two other children were uninjured.
“I am grateful to our dedicated investigators, the partner law enforcement agencies that provided vital assistance, and tipsters from across the nation who pulled together to support our work to get justice for Jazmine,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. “Our work is not finished, but I believe the people of Harris County can take comfort in knowing we have made great progress.”
Contributing: The Associated Press