20-year-old man charged with murder in shooting death of Texas girl

Authorities in Texas have charged a 20-year-old man in the shooting death of a 7-year-old black girl who was killed while riding in a vehicle with her family. Another man is being held in connection with the shooting but has not yet been charged.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office announced early Sunday that Eric Black Jr. was charged with capital murder in the death of Jazmine Barnes. Investigators identified Black as a suspect after receiving a tip, the office said in a statement.

“Investigators do not believe Jazmine’s family was the intended target of the shooting,” the statement said. “They were possibly shot as a result of mistaken identity.”

Lee Merritt, an attorney for the Barnes family, told CBS News another suspect has also been arrested.

Black appeared briefly in court early Sunday morning, wearing handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit. 

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Eric Black Jr. appears in Texas court for a probable cause hearing on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. OnScene.TV

Jazmine was fatally shot in Houston on Dec. 30 after authorities said a suspect pulled alongside the vehicle the girl was riding in and opened fire. Jazmine died at the scene, while her mother was shot in the arm. The shooting occurred as the family was heading to the store.

Following his arrest in east Harris County, the sheriff’s office said Black admitted to taking part in the shooting. Officials also said investigators are looking into the possibility that others could be charged in the case.

Late Saturday, the sheriff’s office said on Twitter that the investigation had “taken a new direction.” The post did not elaborate, and the sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to phone messages.

Jazmine’s mother, LaPorsha Washington, has said she believes the shooting was racially motivated. The alleged shooter was earlier described as a white man in a red truck, but Black is African American.

Hundreds of people gathered at a rally Saturday afternoon for the girl near where the shooting happened. People held up balloons and stuffed animals, as well as signs that said “Justice for Jazmine.”

A $100,000 reward was being offered for information leading to an arrest in Jazmine’s case.

Zachary Hudak contributed reporting.

Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jazmine-barnes-eric-black-jr-charged-with-capital-murder-in-shooting-death-of-7-year-old-texas-girl/

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