Monday I wrote about the tragic death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes who was riding in the car with her mother and siblings when two men in another car started shooting. Jazmine was hit in the head and died. Her mother was shot in the arm. Eventually, police identified this man as one of the two people involved:
— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) January 6, 2019
As of today, 24-year-old Larry Woodruffe has also been charged in her death. But before those arrests were made, the police and the family both believed the shooter was a white man in his 40s. Police even released this sketch based on they eyewitness account of Jazmine’s older sister:
This is the man witnesses say murdered 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes on 12/30 as her family drove on the E. Sam Houston Pkwy frontage road at Wallisville Road. Thin white man, 30's-40's, in a red pickup. Call 713-221-6000 or @CrimeStopHOU at 713-222-TIPS #JusticeForJazmine #hounews pic.twitter.com/URR3w2Wxbm
— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) January 3, 2019
As I pointed out yesterday, it turns out the man pictured, who has not been identified yet, was apparently just a witness who fled the scene in his truck when he heard the shots. What I did not mention yesterday was that activist Shaun King suggested on Twitter that the identity of the white man in his 40s might be someone named Robert Cantrell. Here’s the post which has since been deleted:
It’s true he doesn’t say Cantrell is the killer but the context of his Twitter feed at the time was the hunt for Jazmine’s killer. So posting this guy’s picture and asking for more info was a strong suggestion that he might be involved. He also, you’ll notice, looks a bit like the sketch released by the police. Yesterday, Cantrell’s family spoke to ABC 13 News in Houston and asked people to back off.
Hailey Cantrell says despite the arrests of two suspects in the murder case, as recent as Monday, there have been threatening comments on her Facebook page regarding her uncle, Robert Cantrell.
“I hear, ‘Someone is going to rape, torture and murder the women and children in your family,” Hailey read from one comment…
“I just want everyone to back off. The truth is out. It had nothing to do with us, nothing to do with my uncle at all,” said Hailey.
King did not respond Monday to repeated requests for comment.
King did post this on Twitter. He’s basically claiming his interest in the case had nothing to do with the early speculation that the shooter was white.
Does anyone believe this? Literally, dozens of kids under the age of 15 were shot in Chicago last year. King picked up this story in particular, at least in part, because the shooter was allegedly white. He even spread a name as a possible identity for the shooter, but when asked about that he apparently has nothing to say. Just another false accusation to delete from his timeline and drop from his resume.