The man arrested for the murder 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes may not have been the shooter. Here's everything we know about the potential case of 'mistaken identity'

jazmine barnes rallyDonna Thomas holds a flyer about the shooting suspect as she attends a community rally for seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 in Houston.Houston Chronicle/Melissa Phillip via Associated Press

  • Authorities in Texas have charged Eric Black Jr. for the murder of seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was killed in a drive-by shooting on December 30.
  • The shooter was once believed to be a white male in his 30s or 40s, but the man charged on Sunday is a 20-year-old black male.
  • Black's affidavit states that he drove the car, while another passenger fired the bullets.
  • Officials now believe the case is one of "mistaken identity."

What began as a harrowing emblem of racially-motivated killings in America has taken a surprising turn.

After a weeklong investigation into the murder of seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes, authorities finally landed on a suspect, 20-year-old Eric Black Jr, who was charged on Sunday with capital murder.

Barnes was killed in a drive-by shooting with her mother at the wheel and three sisters in the car.

Read more: FBI report shows 17% spike in hate crimes

Investigators originally identified the suspect as a white male, leading many - including Barnes' mother - to believe that the killing was racially motivated.

Now authorities say that Barnes and her family may not have been targets, but the case is not over yet. Black's affidavit states that he drove the car, while another passenger fired the bullets.

Here's everything we know so far.

{{}}

View As: One Page Slides

Second-grader Jazmine Barnes was killed in a drive-by shooting on the morning of December 30, 2018.

Second-grader Jazmine Barnes was killed in a drive-by shooting on the morning of December 30, 2018.

Barnes was riding in the car with her mother and three sisters. The family was on their way to Joe V's Smart Shop, a grocery store in Texas, to get supplies for breakfast.

At around 7 a.m., a man opened fire on their vehicle. Two of the sisters remained unharmed, but the third was hit by shattered glass. Barnes' mother, LaPorsha Washington, was shot in the arm.

Within minutes, Barnes was pronounced dead.

Thousands of people pitched in to cover funeral expenses — including Shaquille O'Neal and NFL star DeAndre Hopkins.

Thousands of people pitched in to cover funeral expenses — including Shaquille O'Neal and NFL star DeAndre Hopkins.

Hopkins, a wide receiver for the Houston Texans, said Barnes reminded him of his own daughter. He pledged to give his $29,000 playoff check to Barnes' family.

"I will be playing in your honor, Jazmine," he wrote on Twitter.

On January 3, basketball star Shaquille O'Neal reportedly dropped off a check, along with Houston police officer Kenneth Miles, to help cover the funeral costs.

Many others have donated to a GoFundMe page started by Barnes' father, Chris Cevilla.

Law enforcement officials released a sketch of the suspect, which they believed to be a white man in his 30s or 40s.

Law enforcement officials released a sketch of the suspect, which they believed to be a white man in his 30s or 40s.

An attorney advising the Barnes family told CNN that at least four independent witnesses had identified the suspect as a white male wearing a black hoodie.

At the time, Barnes' mother believed that the shooting could have been racially motivated.

Mourners gathered in Houston on January 5 near the site where Barnes was killed.

Mourners gathered in Houston on January 5 near the site where Barnes was killed.

Washington spoke to the crowd, thanking them for their support.

The rally was also attended by Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and rappers Paul Wall and Trae tha Truth.

"This is no longer a Houston case," Lee told the crowd. "Someone has made the point that Jasmine is everyone's child. She is the nation's child. She is seen around the world."

A day later, authorities charged 20-year-old Eric Black Jr. for the killing.

A day later, authorities charged 20-year-old Eric Black Jr. for the killing.

Black was pulled over for missing a turn signal and arrested for marijuana possession. Authorities recognized him as a suspect in the shooting based on an anonymous tip.

He later admitted to driving the car from which the bullets hailed and was charged with capital murder.

Officials said there is a possibility that others were involved.

Black's affidavit states that the shooter was in the passenger seat. The document does not give the full name of the passenger, but refers to someone known as "LW."

Black also told authorities that the gun was at his house.

Investigators say the shooting could be the result of a "mistaken identity."

Investigators say the shooting could be the result of a "mistaken identity."

According to a statement from the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the shooter likely mistook Barnes' family for his original target.

Members of the public expressed their confusion on Twitter.

"There's something missing in the story," one user wrote.

The family's attorney told CNN that the man in the sketch may have been fleeing the scene.

Barnes' funeral is set for Tuesday, along with a community rally. Mourners will release purple balloons in her honor.

Add Comment()
Comments ()
X
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.