On December 30th, 30-year-old LaPorsha Washington was leaving a Houston Walmart with her four children when suddenly a vehicle pulled up next to her and began unloading bullets. Washington was struck in the arm. Her seven-year-old daughter, Jazmine Barnes, was also fatally struck by a bullet.
Initial reports from victims and witnesses suggested that the shooter was a bearded, middle-aged white male. Washington told police that she believed the drive-by shooting was likely racially motivated. A sketch was promptly released by the police department. The first few days of the investigation were centered around these facts, which have since been determined to be misinformation.
Two suspects have now been arrested for the drive-by Walmart shooting, but both suspects are black. One of the suspects, 20-year-old Eric Black Jr., was initially stopped by traffic police for changing lanes without using proper signaling. During the stop, officers found marijuana in his vehicle, so he was arrested. While incarcerated, police received a tip that Black may have been responsible for the shooting, so they began questioning him. They quickly learned that he had been driving the vehicle that reportedly shot at Washington and her family. It was also determined that he owned the pistol used in the shooting.
As a result, Black has been charged with capital murder. The attack was allegedly a case of mistaken identity, and the Washington family was not the suspect’s intended target. Black also helped police determine the shooter’s identity. 24-year-old Larry Woodruffe has also been taken into custody for participating in the shooting.