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A Man Has Been Arrested And Charged With The Fatal Shooting Of 7-Year-Old Jazmine Barnes

Barnes was killed after someone shot into her family's car in what authorities described as an unprovoked attack.

Posted on January 6, 2019, at 3:33 a.m. ET

Harris County Sheriff's Office

A suspect was arrested and charged Saturday with capital murder over the fatal shooting of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was killed while riding in a car with her family in Houston a week ago in what police described as an unprovoked attack.

Sheriff's officials named the suspect as Eric Black Jr. and said that he was taken into custody after he was identified by a tip. Black admitted to being involved in the shooting, authorities said, and investigators are continuing to look into evidence that could lead to other suspects being charged in the case.

Eric Black Jr., 20, is charged with capital murder in the death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes. #hounews

The shooting took place early on the morning of Dec. 30, as Jazmine's mother was driving the 7-year-old and her three sisters. Someone in another vehicle fired at the family, fatally injuring Jazmine and also wounding Jazmine's mother. The shooting set off a days-long search for the suspects, who police initially said were believed to have been traveling in a red pickup truck.

Before the arrest on Saturday, Jazmine's mother, LaPorsha Washington, had said that she thought it was possible the family had been the victim of a hate crime.

In a statement Saturday night, authorities said that 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.

"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," Harris County 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."

The arrest followed the news Saturday night that police had identified "persons of interest" in the shooting. In a tweet Saturday night, the sheriff's office had said that the investigation had "taken a new direction."

The office did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment or additional details about the investigation. A lawyer representing Jazmine's family also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The shooting has drawn national attention, including a promise from writer and activist Shaun King of a $60,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Earlier Saturday, community members held a rally near the site where the shooting took place, calling for justice for Jazmine and her family.


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