The man believed to have shot and killed Texas 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes in a drive-by shooting late last month was charged Tuesday with capital murder.
Police arrested Larry D. Woodruffe, 24, on Saturday on a felony drug possession charge, but it wasn’t until a few days later that prosecutors said they had enough evidence to charge him for the child’s death.
The murder charge follows the indictment of 20-year-old Eric Black Jr., the second suspect in the attack, also for capital murder.
Authorities said Black confessed to having a role in the shooting, which was believed to have been a case of mistaken identity in which Black and Woodruffe targeted the wrong vehicle in northeast Houston.
Woodruffe has six prior convictions, including for assault, drug possession, and illegal possession of a firearm as a felon, Houston station KHOU reported.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said her office will decide at a later date whether to pursue a death penalty or life sentence for the men if they are convicted.
Jazmine was running errands with her mother and three sisters on the morning of Dec. 30 when a car pulled up beside them and began shooting into their vehicle, authorities said. Jazmine’s mother, LaPorsha Washington, suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to her arm.
The shooting drew national attention. Authorities initially described a suspect in the attack as a white male, leading to fears that it may have been a hate crime. Both Black and Woodruffe are black.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Sunday that a white male who one of Jazmine’s sisters saw at the scene was likely a bystander and potential witness to the attack.
News of Woodruffe’s indictment came the same day as a funeral for Jazmine, which drew hundreds of people. Those in attendance included Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Gonzalez, who both spoke of reducing crime in the area.
The mayor also proclaimed Jan. 8, 2019 as “Jazmine Barnes Day.”
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