Texas drive-by gunman kills girl, seven

Texas drive-by gunman kills girl, seven
Source: BBC
Date: 02-01-2019 Time: 05:01:30:pm
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A manhunt is underway in Houston, Texas, for a gunman who attacked a young family in a drive-by shooting, killing a seven-year-old girl.

Jazmine Barnes, her three sisters and mother, LaPorsha Washington, were driving when an unknown man pulled up alongside them and opened fire.

Jazmine and Ms Washington were shot, and the seven-year-old died in the backseat as a result of her wounds.

Police believe they were targeted at random and have not confirmed a motive.

Authorities say the unidentified gunman is a bearded white male in his 40s, wearing a red sweatshirt, according to Ms Washington's 15-year-old daughter, who got a glimpse of the man.

Jazmine Barnes

Image: Jazmine Barnes was shot and killed on Friday by an unknown gunman

He reportedly pulled up beside the family's car in a red pickup truck on Sunday morning and began firing with no provocation, Harris County Police said.


"We're going to leave every motive out there as a possibility," Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said during a news conference on Monday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Ms Washington, 30, was shot in the arm during the attack and her six-year-old daughter was injured by the broken glass.

From her hospital bed, Ms Washington tearfully told KHOU 11 News: "I replayed this moment in my head over a million times to see - did I cut this man off?

A photo of the red truck police are looking for

Image: A nearby business found security camera footage of the gunman's vehicle

"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."

At Monday's news conference, the sheriff urged anyone with information to come forward, asking locals to review security camera footage in their homes or businesses to help track down the gunman.

"Yes, we know we're in Texas. Yes, we know we have a lot of pickup trucks out there," Mr Gonzalez said.

"But when you put the pieces together, consider that we're looking for a bearded man, possibly in his 40s, driving a red pickup truck. This could be your neighbour. This could be your co-worker."

He also called on the gunman to turn himself in to avoid any further violence.

Jazmine's father, Christopher Cevilla, told reporters his daughter was a "loving, caring" young girl.

7-year-old Jazmine Barnes

Image: Seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes was in the second grade

"What if that was your daughter?" he said. "Please step up at this point in time and help me and my family get justice for my baby girl."

The images of the pickup truck have been widely shared online as the manhunt continues.

Ava DuVernay, director of films Selma and A Wrinkle in Time, was one of the many voices on social media calling for the gunman's capture, sharing the family's story in a tweet.

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 help capture the suspect.


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