USA

‘We gonna find you man’: Mum’s message to daughter’s killer

The heartbroken mother of a seven-year-old girl who was killed when a gunman opened fire on their car has vowed the murderer will be caught.

Jazmine Barnes was shot in the head in the "totally unprovoked" drive-by attack in Houston on 30 December.

Her mother LaPorsha Washington was also hurt in the atrocity which happened as they and Jazmine's three sisters were in the moving vehicle heading to a shop.

Image: LaPorsha Washington, pictured in a sling, was injured in the shooting

Ms Washington has addressed a crowd of more than 500 people at a rally to back the family.

She thanked them for their support and said of the killer: "We gonna find him no matter what corner we have to turn, no matter what rock we got to go under, we gonna find you man."

The supporters were asked to think of Jazmine as their own child and to be part of an "army" that will help authorities catch the gunman.

Rally to remember Jazmine Barnes
Image: More than 500 people attended a Houston rally to remember Jazmine Barnes

The child's aunt, Sharonica Watt, asked why the killer who remains at large took the little girl's life.

"We're asking you to turn yourself in right now, in the name of Jesus. We're asking you to give justice to me and my family," said a tearful Ms Watt.

Deric Muhammad, a community activist who helped organise Saturday's rally, told the crowd that everyone there had a role to play "in finding justice for this baby".

"We all consider ourselves soldiers in Jazmine's army," he said.

During the event, people held up balloons, as well as signs saying: "Justice for Jazmine."

They also chanted: "What do we want? Justice. Who do we want it for? Jazmine."

The victim's family believes her death was racially motivated. The victim was black and the suspect is described as a white man in his 30s or 40s, who was wearing a hooded top and driving a red truck.

Police have said they are looking into various leads after a composite sketch of the alleged gunman was released on Thursday.

Investigators say have not yet determined a motive, including whether race might have played a role.

A $100,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

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Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who was at the rally, said she planned to ask federal authorities to set up a national manhunt to find the killer.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office in Houston, which is leading the investigation, said it's already working with the FBI and other federal agencies.

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