Jazmine Barnes shooting suspect makes court appearance in Texas, held without bond

Jazmine, 7, was fatally shot on Dec. 30 while in the car with her family in the Houston area.

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By Minyvonne Burke

One of the two men accused of involvement in the shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes in Texas made a court appearance Monday and was ordered held without bond.

Eric Black Jr. is accused of driving the car used in Jazmine Barnes' death.Harris County Sheriff

Eric Black Jr., 20, who wore a yellow jumpsuit to Harris County Criminal Court and had his hands and feet shackled, was taken into custody on Saturday, nearly a week after Jazmine was fatally shot as she was riding in a car with her mother and three sisters in the Houston area on Dec. 30.

Following the hearing, a prosecutor told reporters that investigators believe that the car Jazmine and her family were in was targeted "in retaliation for an altercation that had happened earlier in the night.”

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"I don't believe that Mr. Black knew the family. I believe this is a case of mistaken identity and I think that Jazmine was an innocent bystander, unfortunately," prosecutor Samantha Knecht said.

Black has admitted to driving a car in which a person in the passenger seat, identified only as Larry W., opened fire on the vehicle occupied by Jazmine's family, prosecutors previously said in court documents. It's unclear if Larry W. has been charged in the shooting. He did not appear in court with Black on Monday.

Black also told authorities that the gun used in the shooting was at his home and gave investigators permission to search his property, according to prosecutors.

Authorities later recovered a 9 mm pistol consistent with shell casings found at the scene of the shooting, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said in court documents that the suspects did not know they had shot at Jazmine and her family until they saw the story on the news later that day.

Jazmine Barnes, 7, was fatally shot in a Walmart parking lot in Harris County, Texas, on Dec. 30, 2018.Family photo

Initially, authorities said they were looking for a white male in his 40s and a red pickup truck - based on descriptions from the family members who were in the car.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said during a press conference Sunday that authorities later learned the pickup truck had come to a stop at a red light next to the car Jazmine and her family were in but went in a different direction moments before the shooting.

Gonzalez said he still wants the pickup driver to come forward because “perhaps now they could shed some light."

“This just went down very quickly, when the gunfire erupted," Gonzalez said. "You’re talking about small children — they witnessed something very traumatic. It’s very likely that the last thing they did see was that red truck, and the driver that was in that truck."

Carmen Gonzalez contributed.