The Harris County Sheriff’s Department formally charged gunman Larry D. Woodruffe, 24, with capital murder in the drive-by shooting that took the life of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes on Dec. 30.
Woodruffe, pictured right, was charged on Tuesday – the same day Jazmine’s funeral was held in Houston.
Eric Black Jr., 20, and Woodruffe were both taken into custody late Saturday. Black confessed immediately to “taking part” in the shooting. He was charged with capital murder but officials held off on charging Woodruffe until more evidence was gathered. Woodruffe was being held on unrelated drug charges.
Jazmine was riding in a car with her mother, LaPorsha Washington, and her three siblings when the SUV pulled alongside them and an occupant opened fire into the car. Jazmine was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say evidence shows the shooting was a case of “mistaken identity.”
The suspects told officials they believed Washington’s white Kia sedan belonged to people they fought with in a nightclub incident earlier that night.
Police believe Woodruffe was the trigger man and Black was the driver of a rented Kia SUV.
Washington’s daughter, Alxis Dilbert, 15, initially described the killer as a 40-year-old bearded white male wearing a red hoodie and driving a red pickup truck.
The false description delayed the investigation but no charges have been filed against the family.
Media interest in the story faded after the real suspects were announced.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted Tuesday that there are “too many gangs in Houston.” He said he planned to expand an anti-gang task force in the wake of Jazmine’s death.