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Second Man Charged In Jazmine Barnes Murder As Authorities Suspect A Case Of Mistaken Identity

Larry Woodruffe and Eric Black Jr. are accused of killing Jazmine Barnes while she was riding in a car with her family.

By Gina Tron

A second suspect has been charged with capital murder in connection with the tragic shooting death of a 7-year-old girl in Houston, Texas. Police now believe the child, Jazmine Barnes, was killed in a case of mistaken identity.

Larry Woodruffe, 24, was charged on Tuesday in connection with Barnes' Dec. 30 killing, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. Woodruffe now joins Eric Black Jr., 20, in being charged with capital murder. Black was charged on Jan. 5 in connection with Barnes’ death. Woodruffe was arrested the same day, but initially only charged with felony drug possession. On Tuesday, it was announced that Woodruffe’s charges were upgraded to murder.

Barnes was shot in the head on Dec. 30 after a vehicle pulled up alongside the family’s car and opened fire. Initially, the shooter was believed to be a white male in his 40s driving a red pickup truck.

However, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office explained that investigators identified Woodruffe and Black as suspects “based on a tip.”

Law enforcement claims Black has admitted to taking part in the shooting.

Barnes was shot while riding in a car with her mother and her three sisters as they were leaving a Walmart parking at around 7 in the morning. In addition to Barnes getting fatally shot, her mother, LaPorsha Washington, was injured in the attack.

"All evidence gathered so far in the Jazmine Barnes Homicide case supports investigators’ strong belief that she and her family were innocent victims," the sheriff's office tweeted early Sunday.

Investigators believe that the gunfire was a form of retaliation from an earlier fight that had nothing to do with the Barnes family, according to KTRK in Houston. The two suspects allegedly have gang connections, according to that report.

Woodruffe is accused of being the shooter, who fired eight shots into the car, while Black is accused of being the getaway driver.

It is not clear if either suspect has lawyers who can speak for them at this time.

[Photos: Harris County Sheriff's Office]

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