The seven-year-old girl killed late last month from a drive-by shooting in Texas was laid to rest on Tuesday during an elaborate funeral. Jazmine Barnes was buried more than a week after the Dec. 30 shooting near Houston when the car she and her family were riding in was misidentified by two assailants, both of whom have been charged with murder as of Tuesday.
The funeral took place at the Community of Faith Church in Houston, according to the Houston Chronicle. As the service began, Jazmine’s mother told her family, “Y’all ready?”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner spoke at the funeral and called Jazmine “one of our children. She enjoyed life and the joy I saw in some of the videos brought smiles to my life. Jazmine wanted to be a teacher and today she is teaching us.”
The Community of Faith Church’s Pastor E. A. Deckard presided over the services.
Jazmine’s short, white casket could be seen covered in flowers as pallbearers rolled it into the church ahead of the funeral. Inside the church, a gospel choir sang hymns as guests arrived. Afterward, dozens of purple balloons were released into the air as a symbol of the freedom wished for Jazmine as she rests in peace.
The program for the funeral featured an angelic image of Jazmine with a halo over her head and surrounded by cherubs. The inside of the program included more than a dozen photos of a smiling Jazmine with her friends and family. The program also said that the funeral was held to honor Jazmine as well as “all murdered victims in Houston/Harris County.
Houston rapper Trae Tha Truth brought his young daughter to the services and told local media as he arrived, “I feel like Jazmine Barnes is us.”
Despite the sad occasion, there was still a glimmer of hope for justice as the Harris County Sherriff’s Office charged Larry D. Woodruffe, 24, with capital murder for the deadly shooting, according to the Associated Press. Woodruffe was believed to be the shooter while Eric Black, Jr., 20, drove the car from which the fatal bullets were fired. Black was charged with murder on Monday.
Jazmine was killed when a bullet struck her in the head, 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 initially described Jazmine’s killer as a white male in his 40s with a beard, based on witness accounts. Authorities now say that same 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.
Scroll down to see more scenes from Jazmine’s homegoing services.