One of the people been arrested and charged with the murder of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes is claiming he had zero involvement in the Dec. 30 shooting in Texas. It was another confusing twist in getting justice for Barnes, whose killer was originally described by witnesses as a 40-year-old white man driving a red truck.
Larry D. Woodruffe, 24, said the only reason he has been connected to the shooting was because Eric Black Jr., 20, named him in a statement, NBC News reported.
“My experience is that people have a big motive to get themselves out of hot water,” Woodruffe’s attorney, Lisa Andrews, said. “It is also my experience, after twenty years of doing criminal law on both sides, that shooters don’t give up their gun. And that gun he led the cops to was at his house, not my client’s.”
Black has been charged with capital murder and allegedly confessed to being the getaway driver in the drive-by shooting in Harris County. According to court documents obtained by NBC, “Black told authorities the gun used was at his home and gave them permission to search the property. A 9 mm pistol consistent with shell casings from the shooting scene was found there.” Woodruffe has been accused of pulling the trigger.
According to initial reports, Jazmine was in the car with her mother and three sisters when a man in a red pickup truck pulled up beside them and began shooting as they exited a Walmart parking lot at about 7 a.m. on Dec. 30.
A bullet struck Jazmine in the head and she died at the scene, investigators said. Her mother, LaPorsha Washington, 30, and one of Jazmine’s sisters were injured in what appeared to be a random attack.
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez had described Jazmine’s killer as a white male in his 40s with a beard, based on witness accounts. Authorities now say the white man in the red truck was likely a witness at the scene who sped away when the shooting started. Additionally, Black and Woodruffe were driving a car — not a truck — the sheriff said.
The witnesses included at least one of Jazmine’s sisters in the car as well as Washington, who said the shooter had blues eyes, according to KTRK-TV.
“We do not believe in any way that the family, as we’ve said from the beginning, that they’ve been involved in anything nefarious,” Gonzalez said. “It just went down very quickly. The gunfire erupted. We’re talking about small children. They witnessed something very traumatic. It’s likely the last thing they did see was indeed that truck and the driver in that truck.”