Suspected gunman in Jazmine Barnes murder has lengthy criminal history

Cheryl Sanders
January 10, 2019

Woodruffe was initially booked into the Harris County Jail on a felony drug possession charge, but officials said Tuesday that homicide investigators have filed a capital murder charge against him.

After a week-long manhunt, amplified by the help of social awareness of the case on Twitter, police have arrested and charged Eric Black Jr.

Woodruffe was charged as Jazmine's funeral took place Tuesday.

Barnes was in a auto with her mother and her three sisters as they were leaving a Walmart parking lot in Houston late last month.

Jazmine and her three sisters were still in their pajamas as the family drove to a store for breakfast supplies.

A second black man was charged with murder on Tuesday in the shooting death of an African-American girl in the Houston area, after initial witness descriptions of a white suspect sparked fears of a hate crime.

Woodruffe and Black mistakenly thought they were attacking people they'd previously fought at a club hours earlier when they shot at Jazmine and her family, according to authorities.

Eric Black Jr., 20, was arrested Saturday in a traffic stop for not using his turn signal. The girl's mother, LaPorsha Washington, was shot in the arm and the girl's 15-year-old sister was injured when the window shattered. Jazmine, who would have turned 8 next month, was shot in the head and killed.

Black said the gun used in the shooting was at his home, the affidavit says.

Woodruffe has six prior convictions, including for assault, drug possession, and illegal possession of a firearm as a felon, Houston station KHOU reported.

A sketch drawn up by the Harris County Sheriff's Office, which greatly resembles Cantrell, a white man with blue eyes, was released and then widely circulated by the prominent Black Lives Matter activist, Shaun King, last week.

LaPorsha Washington, Jazmine's mother, told authorities that a vehicle pulled up next to theirs, firing a spray of bullets inside.

Police later corroborated King's tip through their investigation.

The heartbreaking murder of Jazmine captured the attention of the country, including community activists and celebrities, as the search for her killer went on for a week.

"I didn't think it was going to be this big", the child's mother said tearfully. "But it is big and it is a celebration and I just want to thank everybody". Hopkins said it was to help the family with funeral costs, too, and hospital bills for Jazmine's mother or other family needs. O'Neal and Houston Senior Police Officer Kenneth Miles brought a cashier's check to the family last week to pay for the funeral.

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