Mom Shares Heartbreaking Plea to the Man Who Shot Her 7-Year-Old Girl in the Head

Jasmine Barnes
ABC 13

A mother in Houston, Texas, is left grieving after her 7-year-old daughter was killed in a tragic shooting. LaPorsha Washington was going for an early morning coffee run with her four daughters when a random driver pulled by their vehicle and opened fire on her and her kids. Shots from the gun injured the 30-year-old mother and scared her young girls. But the greater harm was to her daughter, Jazmine, who was killed by a bullet to the head.

  • Washington had taken her girls on a special early morning trip to get coffee before they were to head home and have a family breakfast.

    Speaking to reporters from CNN, the mom said that Sunday was meant to be a memorable day for her family. Her mother was in town for a special visit and Grandma had woken Washington and her daughters up early so she could make them breakfast. They also planned to cook dinner together. Before a day in the kitchen, Washington decided to go to a convenience store with the girls at around 7 a.m.

    Still in their pajamas, Washington and her four daughters, Jazmine Barnes, age 7, a 6-year-old daughter, as well as an older and younger girl whose ages are unknown, made the trip to Joe V's store in Houston to get some coffee. As the family drove along the service road to get to the pit stop, a bearded white male, possibly in his 40s, reportedly pulled up next to them in a red or maroon pickup truck and fired shots into the car -- completely unprovoked. 

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  • Washington dove for her daughter in the front seat, screaming for her girls in the back to get down.

    As Washington tried to shield her girls, bullets shattered the driver's side window.

    Washington told KTRK it wasn't until the shots stopped that she first learned the devastating scene: one of her girls was dead.

    "'Mama, Jazmine's not moving. She's not talking,'" Washington remembered her daughter saying from the back seat. "I turn around and my 7-year-old was shot in the head."  

    Washington later said she remembered the truck speeding up to get in front of them as the driver continued to shoot into the car. "The shots came through my window. It broke my glass. I don't even know how my baby got shot," she said. 

  • As police investigate the drive-by shooting, many are starting to wonder if the driver was racially motivated.

    Washington noted that the windows in her car are not tinted and that it was apparent that "it was a mother, a black mother with four beautiful children, girls, in this car."

    While the Harris County Police Department has yet to solidify a motive, it does agree there is seemingly no reason why Washington and her girls were targeted. 

    "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 explained. "There was nothing to indicate that the family did anything wrong in any way. They were simply just driving along the service road when this happened to them."

    But Washington wants people to know that this was not a random incident and that she "didn't provoke him in any kind of way."

    "I made a stop at a red light and kept going, and gunshots were fired in my car," she explained in an interview with KTRK. "It was not fair."

    "He intentionally killed my child for no reason," she also told KTRK. "He didn't even know her, he didn't know who she was."

  • Police are now looking for the gunman in this "random and senseless” shooting and Washington is speaking out to the man who killed her daughter.

    According to The New York Times, Jazmine was pronounced dead at the scene, Washington was shot in the arm, and her 6-year-old is being treated for injuries related to the shattered glass from the car windows. 

    The family was taken to Ben Taub Hospital in Houston. Washington was released later that day. Still, the mom spoke through tears when telling reporters about what happened.

    "Every time I wake up, I want it to be a dream," she said. "I want to wake up and see my 7-year-old run through the door and give me a hug and a kiss."

    And to the man who shot her girl, the mom had this to say, "Be a man about it and turn yourself in."

gun violence guns race racism