As the manhunt for the white man suspected of killing 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes continues, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office has released a composite sketch of the alleged killer.
The sketch, along with additional information about the suspect, was shared by Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales at a Thursday press conference. As NPR reports, Gonzalez described the man who gunned down Jazmine last Sunday as a a “thin white man in his 30s or 40s, wearing a black hoodie, with pale skin and blue eyes” and a “5-o’ clock shadow” of a beard.
The Sheriff’s Office also shared video of the pickup truck on social media, soliciting tips from anyone who might have information on the truck’s owner.
According to Jazmine’s family, the unknown man pulled up beside them in a red pickup truck after they ran an errand at a Houston shopping center, opening fire into their car. Jazmine’s mother, LaPorsha Washington, was shot in the arm during the unprovoked attack; another of her daughters, a 6-year-old, was injured by shattered glass, NPR reports. Jazmine died at the scene.
The case has gripped the country as the suspect remains free. Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt and social justice advocate Shaun King have offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the man’s capture. Many suspect the attack was racially motivated, especially in light of reports that a similar attack involving a white man in a pickup truck happened a little over a year ago, about six miles from where Jazmine was shot and killed, the Guardian reports.
As with Jazmine’s case, the white man in that incident opened fire on a car in which all the occupants were black. Police never solved the 2016 case.
As the Guardian writes, Sheriff Gonzalez said his office was “‘not ruling anything out.’ but that it would be ‘irresponsible’ to claim race was a factor in the attack ‘without fully knowing that is the linkage.’”
A GoFundMe has been launched by Jazmine’s family to help pay for costs related to her horrific death, with basketball great Shaquille O’Neal and Houston Texas wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins contributing to Jazmine’s funeral expenses. Hopkins also said he’s dedicating his upcoming game on Saturday to Jazmine’s memory.
“When I see Jazmine Barnes’ face, I see my own daughter,” the NFL start tweeted.
Anyone with information that could lead to the suspect should call the Houston Sheriff’s Office at 713-221-6000. A community rally will be held Saturday, and a purple balloon release in Jazmine’s honor will be held after her funeral Tuesday.