A 7-year-old girl was shot dead in a Houston, Texas-area Walmart parking lot over the weekend when an unidentified gunman opened fire on her family, according to law enforcement officials.
Jazmine Barnes, 7, was reportedly riding in a car with her mother and three sisters around 7:00 a.m. local time Sunday when the suspected gunman abruptly pulled up beside them in a pickup truck and began shooting.
Jazmine was pronounced dead at the scene, while her mother, LaPorsha Washington, 30, was rushed to a nearby hospital for gunshot wounds. In an interview with KTRK, Washington recounted the heartbreaking incident.
“They came through my window, broke my glass, and hit me in my arm,” she told the CNN affiliate news outlet from her hospital room. “He sped off in front of us and stopped, and still continued to fire at us. It was not fair. He intentionally killed my child for no reason. He didn’t even know her. He didn’t even know who she was.”
Washington said one of her daughters alerted her that Jazmine had been hit by gunfire. “She said, ‘Momma, Jazmine’s not moving. She’s not talking.’ I turned around and my 7-year-old was shot in the head,” the devastated mother said.
According to police, the incident was unprovoked and a manhunt is underway to find the suspect.
“Please keep this family in your prayers. A total of 5 occupants in the car witnessed this innocent child, their loved one, shot and killed before their eyes,” Harris County sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a statement posted to Twitter. “So senseless. It’s never easy, and extra hard during the holiday season.”
“It’s our belief that it was totally unprovoked, whatever it was, and we’re leaving no stone unturned. We’re going to leave every motive out there as a possibility,” Gonzalez said in a separate statement. “There was nothing to indicate that the family did anything wrong in any way. They were simply just driving along the service road when this happened to them.”
The suspect is said to have been driving a red truck and was described as a white male in his 40s.