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2 Jan, 2019 20:20

Child killer who shot repeatedly at car full of kids in Texas on the loose, activists offer reward

Child killer who shot repeatedly at car full of kids in Texas on the loose, activists offer reward

A mystery attacker unloaded on a car full of children in Texas, killing a seven-year-old girl. The community is shocked, the police puzzled, and an activist has offered $35,000 to anyone who can turn in the suspect.

Jazmine Barnes and her mother, 30-year-old LaPorsha Washington, from Houston, Texas, were on their way to a convenience store early Sunday morning, along with Washington’s three other daughters. As their car idled at a red light, gunshots rang out, punching through the packed vehicle.

Washington screamed at her children to “get down!” as bullets ripped through the car, CNN reported. The panicked mother threw herself on her eldest daughter sitting in the passenger seat, but was unable to shield her three daughters in the back seat.

When the shooting stopped, a voice cried out from the back seat: “Mama, Jazmine’s not moving...she’s not talking.” When Washington turned around, seven-year-old Jazmine was dead, shot in the head. Washington herself was wounded. A red pickup truck sped off, and the shooter got away.

The killing has police scratching their heads. The suspect, described as a bearded white male in his 40s, was unknown to the young family, and appeared to have chosen his targets at random.

“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,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters on Monday.

The local community is shocked by the slaying, and Washington is grief-stricken. “Every time I wake up, I want it to be a dream,” she told CNN. “I want to wake up and see my 7-year-old run through the door and give me a hug and a kiss.” Washington’s three other daughters were not shot, but are left traumatized after the tragedy.

Police have released photos of the suspect’s truck, in an attempt to track down the killer.

In addition, New York-based activist Shaun King – active in the Black Lives Matter movement – and civil rights attorney Lee Merritt have offered a $35,000 cash reward to help find the suspect.

“I have $35,000 in cash for the person who turns in the murderer of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes,” King announced on Tuesday. In an earlier tweet, King described the suspect as an “evil coward,” while Merritt said “there exists no rationale for the attack other than hate.”

Sheriff Gonzalez has vowed to find the gunman, and said he hopes “his conscience is eating away at him.” With no more leads thus far, closure is still a long way off for Washington and her daughters.

“He intentionally killed my child for no reason,” she told CNN. “He didn't even know her. He didn't even know who she was...It was not fair.”

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