The authorities have charged a suspect with capital murder in the fatal shooting of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, as an emotional case that moved the Houston community and evoked racial tensions nationwide took an unexpected turn on Sunday.
The authorities identified the suspect, Eric Black Jr., 20, and said he admitted to taking part in the Dec. 30 shooting.
Contrary to initial reports that the suspect was white, Mr. Black is black.
The authorities believe that Mr. Black, along with an accomplice, thought they were shooting at someone else when they opened fire on Jazmine and her family, who were in a car on an early morning coffee run.
To civil rights activists, including Shaun King, who received the tip that led to the arrest, the race of the suspect did not upend the meaning of the case – for Jazmine’s family or for the country.
The capital murder charge filed against Mr. Black came after a weeklong search in a case that seemed to offer few clues.
Jazmine was with her mother and three sisters just before 7 a.m. when, the authorities said, a man in a truck pulled up beside them and began shooting.
A bullet struck Jazmine in the head and she died at the scene, the authorities said.
The authorities released grainy images of a red pickup truck and a sketch of the suspect, describing him as a thin white man in his 30s or 40s. Sheriff Gonzalez said there was indeed a red pickup truck that came to a stop at a traffic signal next to Jazmine and her family, near a Walmart in the Houston area where the shooting happened.
The authorities now believe that driver could be a witness to the shooting.
Ms. Washington, who was injured in the shooting, told CNN she did not see the gunman but her teenage daughter described him as a white man with blue eyes.
FINISH READING: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/06/us/jazmine-barnes-arrest.html