Police are still searching for a gunman who opened fire on a family while in their car outside a Houston, Texas Walmart on Friday. The attack resulted in the death of seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes who was sitting in the backseat of the family’s car at the time.
Also injured in the attack were Jazmine’s six-year-old sister who was cut by broken glass and the girl’s mother LaPorsha Washington, who was shot in the arm. Two older sisters were also in the vehicle but were reportedly unharmed in the attack.
Speaking from her hospital room in Houston, Ms. Washington says she has no idea why anyone would make such an unprovoked assault on her and her girls. "I replayed this moment in my head over a million times to see - did I cut this man off?
"Did I make a wrong turn in front of him?
"Did I do anything wrong to cause this man to fire shots at my car? I didn't.
"I didn't do anything. He fired off at us for no reason."
KHOU, Houston reports, “Washington says she and her daughters, who range in age from 6 years old to 15 years old, left their home in east Harris County around 6:30 a.m. Sunday. She says they were headed to a Joe V's grocery store along the Beltway.
“She had just driven through the intersection of Wallisville Road and the Sam Houston Tollway and past a Walmart when the red, four-door pickup drove up beside them.
“Investigators with the Harris County Sheriff's Office say the driver fired several shots.
“Jazmine, Washington says, was slumped over in the backseat moments after the drive-by shooting.”
Police were able to access security cameras from nearby businesses to get some help in locating the man, although he remains at large at press time.
“A security camera from a nearby business spied the unidentified gunman cruising south along the feeder road near Wallisville Road on Sunday morning. He seemingly targeted the girl’s family — her mother and three siblings, ages 6, 13 and 15 — at random during their shopping trip, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said during a news conference Monday.”
The eldest girl claims to have gotten a look at the man before her mother drove away after the attack. One of the detectives in the investigation, Lt. Christopher Sandoval, said. “She described him as a bearded man in his 40s wearing a red hoodie.”
KHOU is reporting, “Some social media users are suggesting the attack was a hate crime, although police did not say they are treating race as a factor in the shooting.
“Civil rights activist Shaun King has offered a $35,000 (£27,800) cash reward for anyone who helps capture the suspect.”
For now, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez is not saying anything on that issue. In a news conference on Monday, he said, “We're going to leave every motive out there as a possibility," according to the Houston Chronicle.
Please join us in praying for the family of little Jazmine and for the police as they track down the evil person responsible for this horrible crime.