Home / Others / Jazmine Barnes, still waiting for reward, will be eliminated

Jazmine Barnes, still waiting for reward, will be eliminated

Chris Cevilla, father of Jazmine Barnes, 7, died at a press conference Monday. (Nicole Hensley / Houston Chronicle, via AP)

The shooter parked next to the car early Sunday morning.

A mother was driving four of her daughters to a convenience store for juice. The man opened fire, striking and mortally wounding Jazmine Barnes, 7, in the car, injuring her mother, LaPorsha Washington, and sending glass to rain on the other children in the car.

The horrific assassination of Houston, the penultimate day of the year, attracted much attention. He was denounced by Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. And this week, it gained popularity after being the focus of writer and activist Shaun King and civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt, who claim to have raised $ 60,000 in a private fundraiser for any information leading to the arrest of the suspect.

Authorities have described the suspect as a white bearded man of about forty years.

They published a photo of the red van that they believe he was driving. They added that a sketch of the suspect, made with the help of Jazmine's sisters, is expected to be released on Thursday.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Gonzalez said his office was studying the information that had flooded him after the murder, but that he had no clear idea of ​​the shooter or the why he targeted his family.

"We still have no connection with this family," he said. "So, that always seems random."

Merritt, who works with Jazmine's family, said he believed the shootings were racially motivated.

"That's why I was brought," he said Wednesday in a phone interview with the Washington Post. "We want to emphasize the racial nature of the attack and the fact that the hate crime charges are appropriate."

Local activists in Houston asked the sheriff's office for answers and publicly asked if the case was racially motivated. A rally is scheduled for Saturday.

"We will not ignore this problem," Gonzalez said. "We continue to focus on the evidence we have and the leads we are developing, and then on the ground that we can improve and determine once we have these facts."

Merritt and King solicit public advice, which they pass on to the police. Merritt acknowledged that many of the tips he received were not going to be successful, but he heard a witness who, in his opinion, was credible, would have given him details about the truck.

Merritt said that Washington and two of his daughters injured by shards of glass had been taken to the hospital after the shooting. Washington was shot in the arm, officials said.

Washington has described this heartbreaking shootout at KTRK, Houston's ABC TV affiliate.

"Looking back and looking down the street, I heard gunshots firing. They went out the window, broke my glass and hit my arm. They flew past us and the truck slowed down and continued to fire as it was before us, "she said. "It was not fair. He intentionally killed my child for no reason. He did not even know her, he did not know who she was. "

She stated that one of her other daughters had been the first to see that Jazmine had been hurt.

"She said, Mom, Jazmine does not move. She does not speak. 'I turned around and my 7-year-old was shot in the head,' said Washington. "My baby comes and asks me: Where is my sister? Does she come back? She is only six years old.

Merritt said the frustration was accumulating about the case.

"We believe [the police] We are diligently seeking information, "said Merritt. "As the days go by, it gets more and more exacerbated. But this is not a direct criticism of the application of the law, it is exactly where we are in the case. We are not at a happy place in the case. "

Another fundraiser is underway to help Jazmine's family pay for his funeral and other expenses related to his death. Created by his father, Chris Cevilla, he raised more than $ 29,000 on Wednesday night.

Gonzalez called Jazmine "a young and beautiful angel with a busy life in front of her".

"And we understand that she wanted to be a teacher," he said. "This has been removed, we take it very personally."

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