January 2, 2019 1:26 pm
Updated: January 3, 2019 9:43 pm

Child killed in ‘totally unprovoked’ Texas shooting, manhunt underway

WATCH: Search for the man suspected of shooting and killing a seven year old girl in Texas continues


HOUSTON — 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.

READ MORE: 250,000 deaths caused by guns worldwide each year: study

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.”

“The family should be celebrating and spending time together anticipating the new year and instead they’re making plans to bury this innocent, precious child,” Gonzalez said.

Jazmine died at the scene, her mother suffered a gunshot wound to the arm and her 6-year-old sister was injured by shattered glass. The mother, 30-year-old LaPorsha Washington, remained in a hospital Monday.

WATCH: Houston mother recounts horrifying shooting which left her daughter dead

A distraught Washington told KTRK-TV from her hospital bed that the gunman sped up after firing into her car, only to pull in front and slow down before firing again.

“He intentionally killed my child for no reason,” she said. “He didn’t even know her, he didn’t know who she was.”

READ MORE: A look at gun violence in America by the numbers

Authorities initially said the shooting occurred as Washington was leaving a Walmart parking lot, but Gonzalez on Monday said it occurred on a nearby service road as the family was heading to a store.

The gunman was described as a bearded man in his 40s wearing a red hoodie.

An image of what is believed to be the shooting suspect’s vehicle, released by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Harris County Sheriff's Office via AP

Story continues below

“I hope with each passing moment his conscience is eating away at him,” Gonzalez said, later adding,

“Do the right thing and turn yourself in. There’s no need for anyone else to be harmed.”

Jazmine’s father, Christopher Cevilla, who appeared with Gonzalez at Monday’s news briefing, pleaded with the public to provide relevant tips to authorities so that an arrest can be made.

WATCH ABOVE: Texas officials release image of suspect’s pickup truck in 7-year-old’s shooting death

The Harris County, TX Sheriff’s Office is holding a press conference to discuss the murder of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes. KPRC covers.

“My daughter was 7 years old, loving, caring, very passionate with people, very sweet, just an innocent young girl,” Cevilla said. “Very smart in school. There’s just a lot of things that’s being robbed of me and my family at this moment that we will never be able to get back.”

© 2019 The Canadian Press

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.