Before Erick Black, 20, and Larry Woodruffe, 24 were arrested for murdering seven year-old Jazmine Barnes in a Walmart parking lot in Houston, Texas, activist Shaun King had posted a photo of another man deemed to be the killer on Twitter last week. The image, which went viral, was of Robert Cantrell, a white man who was present at the scene but was reportedly just running for his life when the fatal shooting happened.
Now, Cantrell’s family is getting a slew of death threats on social media even after the suspects were taken into custody, ABC News Chicago reports. Initially, the photo King posted was that of Cantrell’s mug shot, which he captioned: “We’ve had 20 people call or email us and say he is a racist, violent (expletive) and always has been. Just tell me everything you know.” The tweet has since been deleted.
Still, it doesn’t help that the sketch of the alleged murder suspect someone from Barnes’ family described to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office last week resembles Cantrell.
Cantrell’s niece, Hailey has reportedly received disturbing messages on Facebook. “I hear, ‘Someone is going to rape, torture and murder the women and children in your family,” one commenter wrote.
Although she admitted to being scared because she thought her uncle might have killed Barnes, she wants the world to leave her family alone now that the truth has come to light.
Hoping .@SheriffEd_HCSO can dispel disturbing social media rumors. Robert Cantrell, Ms. LaPorsha Washington and this unnamed gentleman (bottom right wearing wheelchair pendant charm) have ZERO to do with the brutal murder of Jazmine Barnes. We gotta do better. pic.twitter.com/scihouaWf8
— Nolite (@deiustitiaadrem) January 6, 2019
“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,” Hailey said.
Shaun hasn’t responded to the mishap, but he did affirm on Twitter that Cantrell was just an innocent bystander on the scene.
After Woodruff & Black shot & killed Jazmine Barnes, 4 credible independent eyewitnesses heard the shooting and saw a white man in a red truck speed off.
It appears that man was an innocent bystander who fled, actually fearing for his life as well. He was not the shooter.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) January 6, 2019
According to USA Today, Barnes’ funeral was held on Tuesday (Jan 8) at Community of Faith Church is Houston.