Family members react after 9-year-old girl was fatally shot by robbery victim

A robbery victim attempting to retaliate at the perpetrator, ended up shooting at the wrong car. One of the bullets struck a 9-year-old girl in the head, killing her. 

9-year-old Arlene Lynette Alvarez has been brain-dead since she was shot Monday night, according to her father, Armando Alvarez. 

BACKGROUND: 9-year-old girl shot in unrelated vehicle during robbery dies

Alvarez says Arlene was kept on life support for much of Tuesday, as her mother was hoping for a miracle. But on Tuesday afternoon, Alvarez said the family decided to let Arlene go in peace.  

"I know she left last night. I know she did. Right now, they have her on the machines, to help her kind of cope on. Mom’s taking it hard. The only reason I came out here at the last moment is that I’m making the call that she’s gotta go to sleep already. She’s gotta rest. I had already told mom last night. She was hoping for a miracle," Alvarez said.  

"Her head is already swelling up more. I know she left yesterday. I know she did. I’m a dad. I saw it; just the way she was looking at me. She had her eyes closed already," Alvarez continued. 

Arlene Lynette Alvarez

Around 9:45 p.m. Monday, Armando, his wife, and three kids were in their truck in southeast Houston when gunshots rang out. 

Houston police say 41-year-old Tony D. Earls and his wife were at the Chase Bank ATM on Woodridge Drive when another man robbed them. Investigators said Earls shot at the man that ran away, then at Alvarez’s truck thinking the innocent family driving by was involved in the robbery.  

"I have guns too. I own guns. I’m not against guns. I get it. The guy was protecting himself but have more common sense. There’s no reason for you to shoot more than three times when the robber was already literally two blocks down and then assume things, you know. She got hit right here. She had her headphones. I know baby was looking down like this," Alvarez said. 


The family's now heartbroken and trying to cope with the senseless loss of their precious baby daughter. 

"I thought I was the perfect dad. I thought I was doing everything. We think we’re perfect. Everybody, we all think we’re perfect. And just like that, everything changes," Alvarez said.  

The suspected shooter, 41-year-old Tony D. Earls, has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault with serious bodily injury.

Tony Earls, 41, is charged with aggravated assault - serious bodily injury after allegedly shooting at a car he thought was involved in his robbery. An innocent family was in the car and a 9-year-old girl was shot.

The robbery suspect remains at large. 

Anyone with information in the shooting or the robbery is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers.