Police in Texas have released a police sketch and more detailed information about the suspect wanted in connection with the senseless shooting death of a 7-year-old black girl on Sunday, a murder which activists have described as potentially racially motivated.
Jazmine Barnes was shot in the head by someone who is believed to be a 30- to 40-year-old white male driving a red pickup truck who pulled up alongside the family’s car on Sunday morning and opened fire. On Thursday night, the Harris County Sheriff’s Department released more information about that suspect, including a sketch and more footage of the suspect’s truck.
"We’re continuing to proceed with different strategies to try and find this coward of a killer,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said at a press conference Thursday.
He once again expressed condolences for Barnes' family and promised to seek out justice for the slain child.
“We’re pursuing every angle, leaving no stone unturned,” he said.
Earlier this week, activists including Lee Merritt, the civil rights attorney who represents Barnes’ family, speculated that the suspect in Barnes' murder may have been responsible for at least one other random shooting of a black person.
“This isn’t the first time that a black family was ambushed by an unknown white male,” Merritt tweeted. “The exact same thing happened on August 30, 2017 to A’Vonta Williams and his girlfriend’s grandmother,” Merritt continued. “The previous shooter was white male in a silver pickup truck and he is still at large. The shootings occurred in the exact same stretch of highway adjacent to the same Wal-Mart located in Humble,TX.”
Williams’ mother told the New York Times that “it has to be the same person.”
The community and celebrities alike have rushed to support Barnes' family.
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins announced he will donate his entire AFC wildcard game playoff check to Barnes’ family to help pay for funeral expenses.
“When I see Jazmine Barnes' face, I see my own daughter,” Hopkins tweeted on Thursday. “On Saturday, I will be playing in your honor.”
The monetary value of that check could exceed six figures, a Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman told the New York Post.
Law enforcement hopes that the release of the sketch will spark new leads.
“Will not rest until we find #JusticeForJazmine,” Gonzalez tweeted. “Our @HCSOTexas team is working hard to bring closure to her family. Jazmine would soon be celebrating another birthday, instead her funeral is being planned. No words.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 713-221-6000 or 713-222-TIPS.
[Photo: Harris County Sheriff’s Office]
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