HARRIS COUNTY — In a week since the murder of Jazmine Barnes on the other side of Houston, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office — and numerous other agencies, to include NASA — have come up with a pair of arrests, after a bizarre turn of events flipped the script everyone had come to think.

Among other things, the driver of a red pickup truck is no longer thought to be the murderer.

“Why the change?” said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez during a press brief Sunday afternoon. “We were focused on, first, the description of an Anglo male, a pickup truck and then eventually the composite that came up. We do know that there was a red truck involved — they had come to a traffic signal near the Walmart … the driver is most likely just a witness, either by sight or sound to what actually transpired. We still want that individual to come forward, because perhaps maybe now they can shed some light.”

“This just went down very quickly when the gunfire erupted,” the sheriff said, adding his insight. “You’re talking about small children — they witnessed something very traumatic — and it’s very likely that the last thing they did see was that red truck and the driver that was in that red truck; and that’s what they remembered last.”

The sketch was created based on a description provided by members of Jazmine’s family. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office now says he is only a witness to the murder of Jazmine at the southbound E. Sam Houston Parkway frontage road just south of Wallisville Road. (Courtesy HCSO)

On Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, the HCSO said that the investigation had taken a new direction and that detectives were in the process of interviewing persons of interest.

A few hours later, the HCSO announced the first of so far two arrests. The first arrest, of 20-year-old Eric Black Jr. (read the announcement here) is the only arrest officially announced by the HCSO, yet.

“Mr. Black has acknowledged his role in Jazmine’s murder,” the sheriff said. “And we’ve also received information that this involves a second individual as well. We are still trying to verify some information and this investigation is ongoing. So there is still some work that needs to be done.”

Eric Black Jr., 20, is charged with capital murder in the death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes. (HCSO booking photo)

We do not believe in any way that the family was involved, the sheriff said.

“For those out there committing violence on anyone, that would use guns to commit violence on anyone: Put the guns down. Stop, just stop,” Gonzalez pleaded. “We do not need any senseless killings. We don’t want any more families to have to suffer like how this family is suffering. And so, just put the guns down.”

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