The white man who killed 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes Sunday in a Houston drive-by shooting may have killed other Black people, civil rights attorney Lee Merrit tweeted on Tuesday.
Police continued their manhunt on Wednesday for the suspect who opened fire from his red pickup truck into the car Jazmine’s mother was driving at about 7 a.m. as she exited a Walmart parking lot. At least one bullet struck Jazmine in the head. Her mother, LaPorsha Washington, 30, and one of Jazmine’s sisters were injured in the apparently random attack.
Merritt’s suspicion that “this may not be his first time striking” came with the announcement of a $35,000 reward, which activist Shaun King also announced, for tips to help the police capture the accused killer.
Washington was released from the hospital Tuesday night, KPRC-TV reported. The grieving mother searched for answers to explain the senseless murder.
“I replayed the moment in my head over a million times. Did I cut this man off? Did I make a wrong turn in front of him? Did I stop him from getting out of the Walmart, for whatever he was doing? Did I do anything wrong to cause this man to fire shots at my car? I didn’t make a wrong turn or get in his lane. I didn’t do none of that. He fired at us for no reason—none,” she told KHOU-TV.
Merritt pointed out that an unknown white male was accused of a similar ambush of a Black family in August 2017. The Houston Chronicle reported in December 2017 that the police were still searching for the person who fired from a Ford pickup truck into the vehicle that A’Vonta Williams was in, striking him and his grandmother. But instead of focusing on the shooter, Houston police were more interested in questioning Williams about the attack.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez vowed Monday to capture the man who killed Jazmine. The suspect is identified as a white male in his 40s with a beard.
“It’s our belief that it was totally unprovoked, whatever it was, and we’re leaving no stone unturned. We’re going to leave every motive out there as a possibility,” Gonzalez told reporters.