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Shattered community says final goodbye to 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes

Shattered community says final goodbye to 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes

Larry Woodruffe was charged with capital murder on Tuesday in the December 30 slaying of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes. Woodruffe was arrested along with Eric Black Jr. on January 5 but was held on felony drug possession pending further investigation.

Woodruffe was charged as Jazmine's funeral took place Tuesday afternoon, attended by thousands of people at the Community of Faith Church in Houston.

Jazmine's mother, LaPorsha Washington, was in the auto with Jazmine and her three sisters near a Houston-area Walmart store on 30 December when a red pick-up truck pulled alongside them and a man inside opened fire.

Authorities previously said that they believe Woodruffe was the person in an SUV who fired on Jazmine and her family as they drove to a store.

A second black man was charged with murder on Tuesday in the shooting death of an African-American girl in the Houston area, after initial witness descriptions of a white suspect sparked fears of a hate crime.

As NPR reported, "Prosecutors say Black and an accomplice mistook the family's vehicle for that of someone they had gotten into an argument with the night before".

The shooting was most likely a case of "mistaken identity", Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Sunday.

Jazmine Barnes 2nd Man Charged In Deadly Drive By Shooting Of Houston 7 Year Old
Jazmine Barnes a 7-year-old Texas girl was shot and killed after a man opened fire on the car with her family inside

Woodruffe has six prior convictions, including pleading guilty to choking a girlfriend, drug possession and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to court records.

During the funeral, Jazmine's mother, LaPorsha Washington, read a poem one of her aunts had written from the point of view of the little girl. Both men were taken into custody on Saturday after police received a tip from activist Shaun King, who said one of his "confidential informants" had identified the suspects. Jazmine, who would have turned eight next month, was shot in the head and killed.

The heartbreaking murder of Jazmine captured the attention of the country, including community activists and celebrities, as the search for her killer went on for a week.

Hailey Cantrell told Houston's ABC 13 that despite the arrests of two suspects in the case, as early as Monday, her Facebook account has been flooded with hateful and threatening comments regarding her uncle, Robert Cantrell.

"I just want everyone to back off", she said. Hopkins said it was to help the family with funeral costs, too, and hospital bills for Jazmine's mother or other family needs.

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins pledged his National Football League playoff game check to Jazmine's family.

Reports say O'Neal and Houston Senior Police Officer Kenneth Miles brought a cashier's check to Jazmine's family last week, but he isn't the only superstar offering a hand.

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