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Second man charged in drive-by shooting death of Jazmine Barnes

By Allen Cone
Larry Woodruffe, 24, was charged Tuesday with capital murder in the Dec. 30 drive-by shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes. Photo courtesy of <a class="tpstyle" href="https://twitter.com/HCSOTexas?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Harris County Sheriff's Office/Twitter</a>
Larry Woodruffe, 24, was charged Tuesday with capital murder in the Dec. 30 drive-by shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes. Photo courtesy of Harris County Sheriff's Office/Twitter

Jan. 8 (UPI) -- A second suspect was charged Tuesday at the same time as the funeral for Jazmine Barnes, who died in a drive-by shooting that investigators believe was a case of mistaken identity in Houston.

Larry Woodruffe, 24, was charged with capital murder in the Dec. 30 death of the 7-year-old, who was riding in a car driven by her mother, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

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Woodruffe, who prosecutors believe was the shooter, was taken into custody on an unrelated drug charge Sunday. He is being held on $100,000 bond and is expected in court this week for a bail hearing on the new charge.

On Monday, Eric Black Jr., 20, was charged with capital murder and is being held without bail after his arrest early Sunday. Authorities said Black told police he drove the vehicle used in the shooting and a man in the passenger seat was the gunman.

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"We expect the hard work by investigators and prosecutors will lead to the convictions of Larry Woodruffe and Eric Black Jr. for the meaningless murder of this young child." First Assistant Harris County District Attorney Tom Berg said in a statement obtained by the Houston Chronicle. "Proof in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt, and this requires professional investigation and scientific evidence."

Several hundred people attended the 2 1/2-hour service at Community of Faith Church.

Before the service began at noon, mourners filed past Jazmine's open casket.

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"I didn't think it was going to be this big," Jazmine's mother, LaPorsha Washington, said tearfully. "But it is big and it is a celebration and I just want to thank everybody."

Elected officials including Mayor Sylvester Turner, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, and Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez spoke at the service.

Turner proclaimed Jazmine Barnes Day in Houston.

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"Because of her life, I just want to believe that all of us will be better, that all of us will work harder, all of us will strive to make this world a safer place for our children," the mayor said.

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Attendees released balloons into the sky in pirple, her favorite color.

Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal covered funeral expenses and Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins pledged his playoff game check of $29,000 Saturday to Jazmine's family.

Shaun King, a civil rights activist and writer, received a tip on the shooters and passed it on to authorities.

"The source said the suspects thought the complainant's vehicle was some other person's vehicle that they had seen earlier in the night and that they shot the car by mistake," prosecutors said as they read from Black's probable cause document at the hearing. "The source said that they did not realize the vehicle that they had shot into was the complainant's vehicle until seeing it on the news later in the day."

Neither man matched the description originally released by authorities -- a white man driving a red truck. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that man was likely just fleeing the scene.

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