Jazmine Barnes Shooting Not Racially Motivated, Police Say After Arrest

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Houston — A suspect has been arrested in the death of a Houston 7-year-old girl. A crime thought by some to be racially motivated is now being treated as a case of mistaken identity, police say.

Harris County Sheriff’s Office homicide investigators have filed a capital murder charge against Eric Black Jr. for the Dec. 30 shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes.

Jazmine Barnes

Investigators identified Black as a suspect based on a tip.

Subsequent investigation revealed evidence that corroborated the tip, and Black was taken into custody in East Harris County without incident.

Black then admitted to taking part in the shooting. Investigators are continuing to pursue evidence that could possibly lead to other suspects being charged in this case.

Jazmine’s mother was driving Jazmine and her three sisters southbound on the East Sam Houston Parkway feeder road near Wallisville Road at approximately 6:50 a.m. when they were fired upon by someone in another vehicle.

At this time, investigators do not believe Jazmine’s family was the intended target of the shooting, and that they were possibly shot as a result of mistaken identity.

Cops initially released this sketch of a white male suspect

“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.”

Anyone with information that may prove helpful to this ongoing investigation is urged to contact Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-TIPS or 713-221-6000.

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