NFL star DeAndre Hopkins donating playoff game check to family of slain 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, wants to help bring killer to justice

An NFL superstar is pledging his earnings from this weekend's playoffs to help the family of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was killed while riding in a car in Texas.

DeAndre Hopkins of the Houston Texans said he will be playing in the slain girl's honor when he takes the field against the Colts in a wild-card game on Saturday in Houston.

"When I see Jazmine Barnes' face, I see my own daughter," Hopkins tweeted on Thursday.

Hopkins, a wide receiver who caught 115 passes for nearly 1,600 yards this season, said he plans to donate his game check of $29,000 to help with funeral costs and to contribute to the effort to bring the killer to justice.

Jazmine was killed Sunday when a gunman shot into the family's vehicle as it stopped for a red light near a Walmart in Houston. Three of her sisters were in the car, and her mother was wounded.

Jazmine Barnes, 7-year-old shot and killed in Texas
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Jazmine Barnes, 7-year-old shot and killed in Texas

Jazmine Barnes was shot and killed on New Year's Eve.

(Photo via Harris County Sheriff)

Christopher Cevilla, father of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, speaks during a news conference, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, in Houston. Authorities are seeking the public's help in locating a man in a pickup truck who pulled up next to a car that was leaving a Houston-area Walmart parking lot Sunday and started shooting, killing Barnes inside the car and wounding the girl's mother. (Nicole Hensley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

A reward for information leading to the arrest of Jazmine's killer has ballooned to $75,000 as an investigation into the slaying remains ongoing.

Activists said Wednesday that they believe the shooting was racially motivated, but Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez indicated that authorities are currently focused on developing leads and gathering evidence.

"We're not tone deaf to some of the concerns in our community where this could be potentially race related," Gonzalez said.

He added road rage could be a factor in the shooting, and that investigators are "not ruling anything out."

Local activists pointed to an unsolved 2017 incident that saw a white suspect fire into a vehicle that carried at least two black people.

"Black people are being targeted in this country. Black people are being targeted in this county. Black people are being targeted in this city," activist Deric Muhammad said. "So we are thoroughly convinced that the killing of Jazmine Barnes was race related."

With News Wire Services

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