HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities announced Tuesday that a second black man has been charged in the fatal drive-by shooting of a 7-year-old Houston black girl, whose death her family had initially believed was racially motivated.
The Harris County Sherriff’s Office said 24-year-old Larry D. Woodruffe has been charged with capital murder in the Dec. 30 slaying of Jazmine Barnes.
Authorities previously said that they believe Woodruffe was the person in an SUV who fired upon Jazmine and her family as they drove to a grocery store. The driver of the SUV, 20-year-old Eric Black Jr. has also been charged with capital murder.
Authorities say Woodruffe and Black mistakenly thought they were attacking people they’d previously fought at a club hours earlier when they shot at Jazmine and her family.
The family had described the shooter as a white man driving a red pickup truck, prompting concerns by them and activists that her death was a hate crime.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said he believes the family’s initial description was sincere and the man in the red truck was likely a bystander who left the scene of the shooting.
Woodruffe was charged as Jazmine’s funeral took place Tuesday afternoon, attended by hundreds of people at a Houston church.
Woodruffe and Black were both taken into custody on Saturday. The sheriff’s office said they identified Woodruffe and Black as suspects based on a tip from social activist and writer Shaun King that was corroborated by their investigation.
While Black was charged on Sunday with capital murder, Woodruffe was being held in the county jail on a drug charge while authorities prepared a capital murder charge against him.
Court records did not list an attorney for Woodruffe.
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