Eric Black Jr, 20, one of the men suspected in the shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, appeared in court on Monday, where he was ordered to be held without bond.
Eric Black Jr., 20, was arrested on Saturday in connection to the killing of Jazmine, who was riding in a car with her mother and three sisters when shots were fired into the vehicle, killing the 7-year-old.
According to NBC News, Black admitted to driving the car, from which another suspect, 24-year-old Larry Woodruffe, opened fire on the family’s car.
Black also admitted to law enforcement that the gun used in the shooting was in his home, and gave officers permission to search his property. Officers were later able to retrieve a 9mm pistol. Prosecutors noted in court documents that the suspects apparently did not know that they had opened fire on a family car until they saw the story in the news later that day, according to the news site.
“I don’t believe that Mr. Black knew the family. I believe this is a case of mistaken identity and I think that Jazmine was an innocent bystander, unfortunately,” prosecutor Samantha Knecht said.
It is believed that the family was targeted “in retaliation for an altercation that had happened earlier in the night,” that did not involve the family and was a result of mistaken identity.
“We have a dead 7-year-old. It’s incredibly tragic, and I look forward to going and being able to pursue justice on her behalf because no 7-year-old deserves this, no family deserves this, especially this time of year. I am happy that we have someone in custody at this point and charged and I look forward to continuing our investigation and seeking justice for Jazmine,” Knecht added, according to ABC 13.
Woodruffe was also arrested on Saturday for unrelated drug possession charges, according to the news station. He was apprehended at a traffic stop that was made when he was discovered driving with an obscured license plate and a defective light. When officers investigated, they smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and detained him.
During a search, officers also found a bottle containing 124 pills, some of which they recognized as Xanax. Woodruffe is currently being held on $100,000 bail but could be facing additional charges soon.
There is one more mystery officers are trying to figure out, however, and that is the identity of the white man who was driving a red pickup truck, who was originally identified as the shooting suspect.
Harris County, Texas Sheriff Ed Gonzalez acknowledged during a press conference on Sunday that the pickup truck had stopped next to the car that Jazmine and her family were in, but went in another direction just moments before the shooting, according to NBC. However, Gonzalez still wants the driver to come forward because “perhaps now they could shed some light.”
Jazmine’s funeral will be held Tuesday at the Community of Faith Church at 1024 Pinemont Drive, with a viewing scheduled for 10 a.m., to be followed by the funeral at 12 p.m. The public is invited to attend.