Hundreds of people filed into Community of Faith church at 1024 Pinemont Dr. Tuesday morning to mourn the death of Jazmine Barnes, the 7-year-old slain in a drive-by shooting the morning of Dec. 30 while riding in a car with her mother and sisters.
More than half of the church’s 2,000-seat sanctuary appeared full of mourners as Barnes was laid to rest.
“God blessed me and my family with an angel,” her father, Chris Cevilla, said. “He’s seen fit to take her back to heaven to be with him, but her job was done.”
Speakers at the funeral included Cevilla and Jazmine’s mother, LaPorsha Washington, along with Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez – whose office is investigating the shooting – as well as Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee.
“I am grateful to everyone,” Washington said. “”This is a celebration.”
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has filed capital murder charges against Eric Black Jr., 20, and Larry D. Woodruffe, 24, in connection with her death.
Per to a release from the HCSO, investigators identified Black and Woodruffe as suspects based on an anonymous tip and subsequent investigation. Prior to the tip which led to the pair’s arrest, investigators had been working off a sketch of a white man behind the wheel of a red pickup truck as described by witnesses.
According to media reports, LaPorsha was driving Jazmine and her sisters southbound on the East Sam Houston Parkway feeder road near Wallisville Road shortly before 7 a.m. Dec. 30, when reports say they were fired upon.