Manhunt continues for gunman who killed 7-year-old girl in Houston

Jazmine Barnes and an image of the red truck from which the shots were fired. - Photos: Harris...
Jazmine Barnes and an image of the red truck from which the shots were fired. - Photos: Harris County Sheriff's Office(KNOE)
Published: Jan. 2, 2019 at 11:10 AM CST
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HOUSTON (CBS/AP) - Authorities are searching for a driver who fired several shots into a car carrying a family in the Houston area, killing a 7-year-old girl and wounding the child's mother.

Investigators on Monday released a surveillance video image of a red, four-door pickup truck from which the driver fired gunshots Sunday morning.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has declined to speculate on what prompted the driver to fire into the car carrying 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, three of her sisters and her mother. Gonzalez says the shooting as "totally unprovoked."

Jazmine's mother suffered a gunshot wound to the arm and her 6-year-old sister was injured by shattered glass.

"He fired at us for no reason": Mother of slain 7-year-old recalls shooting

In her Houston hospital bed, LaPorsha Washington lay grieving and in shock over the death of her daughter.

"He left us a corpse. We no longer have a joyful 7-year-old running around," she said.

Jazmine Barnes was shot and killed early Sunday when a stranger pulled alongside their car on a service road and opened fire on Washington and her four daughters. The 30-year-old mom was hit in the shoulder.

Police believe the shooter, a white, bearded man in his 40s, was driving a red pickup truck. Security cameras caught a grainy image of the vehicle before the gunfire erupted.

"I replayed this moment in my head over a million times to see, did I cut this man off? Did I make a wrong turn in front of him?" Washington said. "I didn't — he fired at us for no reason."

Washington was able to drive away. When she pulled over to call police, she realized one daughter was hurt by the shattered window glass and Jazmine wasn't breathing. Her little second grader died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Now her family vows the killer will not go unpunished.

"Every crack, every rock, every corner that could be flipped, turn and turned around. We're going to be there," Washington said.

The sheriff is asking for the community's help to identify anyone who might fit the description of the shooter who also owns a red pickup. But that's a challenge in a city like Houston, where similar trucks are common. However, authorities are promising they will bring this individual to justice.