- Jazmine Barnes, 7, was riding in the car with her mum and sisters Sunday morning when an unknown man shot her to death.
- Police are now searching for the man, whom they describe as white and bearded.
- A surveillance image has also been released of the suspect’s four-door red pickup truck.
- Journalist Shaun King and civil rights attorney Lee Merritt are offering a $US35,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s capture.
The hunt is on for a man who shot a 7-year-old girl to death in Houston, Texas on Sunday in what authorities are calling an “unprovoked” attack.
Second-grader Jazmine Barnes was riding in a car with her mother and three sisters Sunday morning when a bearded white man driving a red pickup truck pulled up next to them and started firing,police say.
By the time he drove off, Jazmine was dead and her mother and younger sister were injured.
We're mourning the loss of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was shot to death just before 7 a.m. Sunday while riding in a car with her mother and three sisters. We won’t stop until we find Jazmine’s killer. #HouNews pic.twitter.com/PJJLXaJmbC
— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) December 31, 2018
“It is our belief that it was totally unprovoked, whatever it was. We’re leaving no stone unturned. We’re going to leave every motive out there as a possibility,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Cops have since released a surveillance image of the suspect’s vehicle – a four-door, red pickup truck. The make and model are not known.
Journalist Shaun King and civil rights attorney Lee Merritt have also banded together to offer a $US35,000 reward for information leading to the man’s capture.
“The amount started off at $US25,000 and we were able to get together $US35,000, and we expect if this goes on beyond tonight the number will grow,” Merritt told KTRK on Tuesday. “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.”
Jazmine’s mother, LaPorsha Washington, spoke about the attack from her hospital bed before she was discharged on Tuesday. She was treated for a gunshot wound to her arm, while her youngest daughter was injured by some shattered glass.
The 30-year-old mother said she had no idea why the man attacked her family. The mother and her daughters were driving to the store just before 7 a.m. to buy some coffee for her 87-year-old uncle.
“I replayed this moment, in my head over a million times. Did I 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, from whatever he was doing – did I do anything wrong to cause this man to fire shots in my car?” she said, according to KHOU. “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.”
Jazmine’s father, Christopher Cevilla, also spoke at a press conference and called on the public to send in whatever tips they may have.
“What if that was your daughter?” he asked. “Help me and my family get justice for my baby girl.”
Anyone with information on the gunman is being asked to call the Harris County Sheriff’s Office at 713-222-TIPS.
Anonymous tips can be submitted online as well at Crime-Stoppers.org.
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