Texas authorities have released the image of a red pick up truck they believe served as the get-away vehicle of a man they suspect killed a 7-year-old Black girl in an “unprovoked” shooting attack on Sunday, The Telegraph-Herald reports.
Harris County authorities are combing the area in a manhunt to find the white suspect who took the life of little Jazmine Barnes, and left her mother wounded and her three sisters traumatized when the assailant pulled up beside their car, near a Houston-area Walmart and unloaded a hail of bullets, killing the child.
“We won’t rest until this precious child’s killer is brought to justice,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted Monday along with a photo of the smiling girl.
Here are 5 things to know about the investigation.
- Jazmine’s mother is speaking out. Tearful and distraught, LaPorsha Washington spoke out from her hospital bed as she recovered from her wounds. Director Ava DuVernay posted the video of 30-year-old mother speaking out about the heart-breaking moments the gunman fired on her family.
“I replayed this moment in my head over a million times t see, did I cut this man off? Did I make a wrong turn in front of him? Did I stop him from getting out of the Walmart for whatever he was doing?” Washington told KHOU 11. “Did I do anything wrong to cause this man to fire shots in my car and I didn’t. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t make a wrong turn. I didn’t get over in his lane. I didn’t do none of that. He fired off at us for no reason. None.”
2. Activists have launched a reward. Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt has taken up the case and along with activist-journalist Shaun King have offered a $35,000 reward for the arrest of the gunman.
“The amount started off at $25,000 and we were able to get together $35,000, and we expect if this goes on beyond tonight the number will grow,” Merritt told Houston ABC station KTRK.
“There are a lot of people who are concerned in our circles. … This is a tragedy that the community wants to help with in some way. If a reward for the person who shot this poor little girl helps, then we want to offer it.”
URGENT. ALL HANDS ON DECK.
A 40 y/o white man w/ a beard in a red pickup truck pulled up on 7 y/o Jazmine Barnes and her family near a Houston @Walmart and shot and killed her and injured others.
I am joining the search for her killer and have a $25,000 reward.
Need him NOW.
Listen. I have $35,000 in cash for the person who turns in the murderer of 7 year old Jazmine Barnes.
You can contact me confidentially. And I can give you the money without anyone knowing it was you.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. pic.twitter.com/PDUsgUyHLU
3. Jazmin’s father is asking the public for help. King wrote on Wednesday, “Just spoke to Jazmine’s father. We both love our girls so much. More than words can express. He said he feels the love from us all. Let’s find this murderer.”
Just spoke to Jazmine’s father. We both love our girls so much. More than words can express.
He said he feels the love from us all.
Let’s find this murderer.Shaun King
✔@shaunkingReplying to @shaunking
The family of 7 year old Jazmine Barnes asked me to share these wonderful recent images of her with her dad and family.
She was loved and treasured and valued.
We will not stop until we find her killer.
4. Investigators haven’t labeled the shooting a hate crime. The suspect is still on the run in a red pickup truck that fled the scene. The authorities said they are still investigating and trying to determine if the shooting was random or targeted. The suspect was described as a white man with a beard in his 40s. He was reportedly wearing a red hoodie and driving a four-door, red or maroon pickup truck, officials said. The sheriff’s office asks that anyone with information 911, or tweet at @CrimeStopHOU or call 713-222-TIPS.