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Second man charged in shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes

Second man charged in shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes
Three women help support a man as he becomes emotional near the casket of Jazmine Barnes during the girl's funeral Tuesday in Houston. (Marie De Jesus / Houston Chronicle)

Authorities announced Tuesday that a second black man has been charged in the fatal drive-by shooting of a 7-year-old Houston girl, whose death her family had initially believed was racially motivated.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said 24-year-old Larry D. Woodruffe had been charged with capital murder in the Dec. 30 slaying of Jazmine Barnes.

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Authorities previously said they believed 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.

Larry D. Woodruffe, left, and Eric Black Jr. have been charged with capital murder.
Larry D. Woodruffe, left, and Eric Black Jr. have been charged with capital murder. (Harris County Sheriff's Office)

Authorities said 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 believed the family’s initial description was sincere and that 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 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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