Man charged with murder in Houston girl’s death

Jazmine Barnes

Jazmine Barnes' family had described the gunman in the December 30 slaying as a white man driving a red pickup, stirring fears among community activists that race played a role in the attack.

Jazmine's family had believed the shooting was racially motivated, but prosecutors said Sunday the killing was a case of mistaken identity.

At a court hearing early Sunday, prosecutors said a confidential source had contacted the sheriff by email and told him the killers had "shot the auto by mistake", thinking the vehicle was someone else's that they had seen earlier that night. Prosecutors say he was driving the vehicle that pulled alongside the Barnes family auto and that someone else shot into the auto. He is now being held on a drug possession charge, officials said.

"They were quiet, but strong", sketch artist Lois Gibson said of the sisters, who cried after seeing the drawing.

HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Multiple sources tell FOX 26 News that a suspect is in custody in the shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, along with a possible second suspect. Police say they identified the suspect based on a tip that was corroborated by their investigation.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee called for a nationwide manhunt for the suspect, who has been described as a bearded white man, possibly in his forties.

A lawyer for the Barnes family now says the white man that police described as a suspect was "simply a bystander trying to escape the shooting". "Our work is not finished, but I believe the people of Harris County can take comfort in knowing we have made great progress". She was reportedly riding in the auto with her mother and three siblings when the gunman fired several shots into the vehicle.

"Mr. Black has acknowledged his role in Jazmine's murder", Gonzalez said.

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Black confessed to homicide investigators that he drove the vehicle used in the shooting when a man in the passenger seat opened fire, according to the affidavit.

"We do know that there was a red truck involved".

"The family is still really grateful that it seems law enforcement has identified the shooter", Merritt said.

Prosecutors say a confidential source told the Harris County Sheriff's Office the suspects had "shot the auto by mistake". "He's going down for sure", says Jazmine's dad Chris Cevilla.

The sheriff's office was expected to provide more information at a news conference later on Sunday.

Harris County are urging anyone with additional information on the incident to contact Houston Crime Stoppers on 713-222-TIPS or 713-221-6000.

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

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