- Authorities in Texas have charged Eric Black Jr. for the murder of seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was killed in a drive-by shooting on December 30.
- The shooter was once believed to be a white male in his 30s or 40s, but the man charged on Sunday is a 20-year-old black male.
- Black’s affidavit states that he drove the car, while another passenger fired the bullets.
- Officials now believe the case is one of “mistaken identity.”
What began as a harrowing emblem of racially-motivated killings in America has taken a surprising turn.
After a weeklong investigation into the murder of seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes, authorities finally landed on a suspect, 20-year-old Eric Black Jr, who was charged on Sunday with capital murder.
Barnes was killed in a drive-by shooting with her mother at the wheel and three sisters in the car.
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Investigators originally identified the suspect as a white male, leading many — including Barnes’ mother — to believe that the killing was racially motivated.
Now authorities say that Barnes and her family may not have been targets, but the case is not over yet. Black’s affidavit states that he drove the car, while another passenger fired the bullets.
Here’s everything we know so far.
Second-grader Jazmine Barnes was killed in a drive-by shooting on the morning of December 30, 2018.
Barnes was riding in the car with her mother and three sisters. The family was on their way to Joe V’s Smart Shop, a grocery store in Texas, to get supplies for breakfast.
At around 7 a.m., a man opened fire on their vehicle. Two of the sisters remained unharmed, but the third was hit by shattered glass. Barnes’ mother, LaPorsha Washington, was shot in the arm.
Within minutes, Barnes was pronounced dead.
Thousands of people pitched in to cover funeral expenses — including Shaquille O’Neal and NFL star DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins, a wide receiver for the Houston Texans, said Barnes reminded him of his own daughter. He pledged to give his $29,000 playoff check to Barnes’ family.
“I will be playing in your honor, Jazmine,” he wrote on Twitter.
On January 3, basketball star Shaquille O’Neal reportedly dropped off a check, along with Houston police officer Kenneth Miles, to help cover the funeral costs.
Many others have donated to a GoFundMe page started by Barnes’ father, Chris Cevilla.
Law enforcement officials released a sketch of the suspect, which they believed to be a white man in his 30s or 40s.
An attorney advising the Barnes family told CNN that at least four independent witnesses had identified the suspect as a white male wearing a black hoodie in a red truck.
At the time, Barnes’ mother believed that the shooting could have been racially motivated.