Published: Thu, January 10, 2019

Family of man wrongfully accused in Jazmine Barnes' shooting speaks out

Family of man wrongfully accused in Jazmine Barnes' shooting speaks out

The Harris County Sheriff's Office announced on Tuesday (January 8) that a capital murder charge was filed against Larry Woodruffe in the shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes. "King wrote Sunday on Instagram that he received the tip on January 3 that a 20-year-old black man named Eric Black Jr. and another man had shot Barnes".

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.

Jazmine, who was 7, was riding in a auto with her mother and sisters on December 30 when someone in another vehicle shot her in the head.

The sheriff's office now believes the sketch is of a witness that Jazmine's sister remembered and has said all evidence shows the little girl and her family were innocent victims.

The family had described the shooter as a white man driving a red pickup truck, prompting concerns by them and activists that her death was a hate crime.

Police say the killing arose from a case of mistaken identity and that the family was not deliberately targeted. Prosecutors identified Larry Woodruffe as the second suspect in a court hearing Saturday, the Houston Chronicle reported. They were fired upon and Barnes was fatally hit; her mother, 30-year-old LaPorsha Washington, was injured.

Two men were charged in connection with the child's murder, but both of them turned out to be black - not white, like activist Shaun King initially claimed, in what he suggested was a racially motivated crime.

Prosecutors said he confessed to driving the vehicle from which Jazmine was shot, and a gun found in his home matched the eight shell casings found at the scene.

Jail records indicate Woodruffe, who also is African-American, is in custody on drug possession charges.

Jazmine was struck in the head by a bullet and died at the scene. A man pulled his vehicle up next to their auto at around 7 a.m. and opened fire, Jazmine's mother, LaPorsha Washington, said.

Hailey Cantrell told Houston's ABC 13 that despite the arrests of two suspects in the case, as early as Monday, her Facebook account has been flooded with hateful and threatening comments regarding her uncle, Robert Cantrell.

"I'm telling you, every time I see one of y'all reach out for me, I can hold my head up", she said.

"I just want everyone to back off", she said. O'Neal and a Houston police officer, Kenneth Miles, brought a cashier's check to the family last week to pay for the funeral.

More than 2,700 people donated to a GoFundMe set up for Jazmine's funeral expenses and family.

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