Jazmine Barnes Shooting: A Tragic Event For Barnes Family

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Jazmine Barnes Shooting: A Tragic Event For Barnes Family

Emery Jovel, Features Editor

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The day was December 30th, a few days before New Year’s. Laporsha Washington, 30, and her four daughters were in their pajamas as they were going to a nearby store to buy coffee. As the girls reached a red light, a red or maroon pickup truck pulled up on the passenger side. And then it happened.

Bullets were flying, hitting Washington in her arm and giving her six-year old minor injuries due to shattered glass. The oldest daughter, Alexis, 15, tried to wake Jazmine, but she didn’t move and there was no sign she was breathing. Jazmine was critically wounded due to a head wound. But as they tried to rush Jazmine to the nearest hospital, the car started to rattle and unfortunately, they were not able to make it to the hospital. Shortly afterward, the police came and informed the family that Jazmine Barnes was dead.  

“I knew,” Alexis said, “Since she didn’t say anything. I knew.” This was a horrible tragedy that greatly affected the Barnes family. It is still unclear to police whether the shooting was targeted or random, but Washington believes that race had a role to play for the shooting.

The police were able to create a composite sketch of the suspect that may lead them to Jazmine Barnes’ killer. According to Washington and her daughter, they described the perpetrator as a bearded white male wearing a red hoodie, and was in his 40s. Once the sketch was shared to the public, police have been getting a lot of tips, but none of them led police closer to the killer. But police predict that the shooting was because of  “mistaken identity.”

Due to the tragic event at the end of 2018, it was a heartbreaking time for Harris County Sheriff, Ed Gonzalez. Ed Gonzalez is a homicide detective who in 2016 was elected sheriff of the state’s most populous county, with over 4.6 million residents. Shortly after the death of seven year old Jazmine Barnes, Gonzalez tweeted, “Heartbreaking weekend in Harris County. @HCSOTexas has investigated the following: a 2 year old & 17 year old dying from car crashes. And a 7 year old shooting victim. Gone to soon. May they Rest In Peace and the lord bring comfort to their families.”

Even NFL player DeAndre Hopkins felt the sadness for Jazmine Barnes’ family, that he even donated his payoff check to the Barnes family to demonstrate the community’s support for them. Hopkins even tweeted, “When I see Jazmine Barnes’ face, I see my own daughter. I’m pledging my playoff check this week to help her family with funeral costs and to support @shaunking @SheriffED_HCSO @SylvesterTurner in bringing this man to justice. On Saturday, I will be playing in your honor, Jazmine.” The death of Jazmine Barnes affected not only her family, but many other families and community members.

Investigators then got a break in the Jazmine Barnes case. On Sunday, 24 year old Larry Woodruffe was taken into custody for separate drug possession charges and was accused as being Jazmine Barnes’ shooter, which prompted prosecutors to consider a capital charge murder. Shortly afterward, 20 year old Eric Black Jr. was arrested in a traffic stop because he didn’t use his turn signal. Black was accused of driving the truck used during the shooting. Eric Black Jr. will face a charge of capital murder with his first court date on February 15. Investigators were able to conclude that the cause of the shooting was because of  “mistaken identity” as they bring these two criminals justice.