The Latest: Slain Houston girl’s dad relieved after arrest

HOUSTON (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into the shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

The father of a 7-year-old black girl who was fatally shot as her family drove to a grocery store in Houston says he’s relieved an arrest has been made in his daughter’s death.

Chris Sevilla said in a brief telephone interview Sunday he was feeling “a bit of relief” after an arrest in the slaying of his daughter, Jazmine Barnes.

In a statement, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner thanked authorities for their “diligent work” in arresting 20-year-old Eric Black Jr.

Jazmine’s family had believed the shooting was racially motivated, but prosecutors said Sunday the killing was a case of mistaken identity. Black is African-American.

Prosecutors say he was driving an SUV from which an unidentified passenger fired upon the car Jazmine and her family were in on Dec. 30.


9:40 a.m.

Authorities have charged a 20-year-old black man in the death of 7-year-old black girl in what prosecutors are saying was a case of mistaken identity.

The family of Jazmine Barnes had believed her death had been racially motivated. They had identified a white man in a red truck as the shooter.

But during a court hearing early Sunday, prosecutors said Eric Black Jr. admitted to investigators he was driving a dark-colored Kia SUV when a passenger in his vehicle identified as “Larry” opened fire on the car with Jazmine.

Prosecutors say a confidential source told the Harris County Sheriff’s Office the suspects had “shot the car by mistake.”

Black has been charged with capital murder.

It was not immediately known whether the other suspect has been arrested.


2 a.m.

Authorities in Texas have filed charges against a suspect in the shooting death of a 7-year-old black girl.

The Harris County Sherriff’s Office say 20-year-old Eric Black Jr. was charged early Sunday with capital murder in the Dec. 30 slaying of Jazmine Barnes. Police say they identified the suspect based on a tip that was corroborated by their investigation.

Police say Black “admitted to taking part in the shooting” after he was taken into custody.

Investigators had said the case had “taken a new direction” shortly before the charges were announced.


12:55 a.m.

Authorities in Texas say “persons of interest” are being interviewed in the investigation into the shooting death of a 7-year-old black girl.

Jazmine Barnes was shot and killed in Houston on Dec. 30 after investigators say a suspect pulled alongside the car the girl was riding in with her family and fired into the vehicle. The shooting occurred as the family was heading to a store.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office posted on Twitter late Saturday that persons of interest are being questioned, and that the investigation has “taken a new direction.” The sheriff’s office did not elaborate.

Earlier Saturday, hundreds of people gathered at a rally for the girl near where the shooting happened. Jazmine’s family has said they believe the shooting was racially motivated.

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