Attorney for family of 9-year-old killed after ATM robbery fires back accused shooter's self defense claims

"On behalf of my husband and I, I'd like to send my sincere condolences to the Alvarez family. The pain of losing a child is something no one should experience," said Deyonna Hines, the wife of Tony Earls.

Earls, 41, is charged with aggravated assault with serious bodily injury in the shooting death of a 9-year-old girl. Earls says he was shooting in self defense after being robbed.

MORE: Suspected gunman says shooting was self-defense, offers prayers for 9-year-old victim's family

Earls did not speak at a press conference held by his attorney Brennen Dunn on Monday.

Dunn spoke on Earls' behalf, saying his client was in fear of his life that fateful night after being shot at by a robber.

The robbery and shooting happened last week at a Chase ATM in the 2900 block of Woodridge in southeast Houston.

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

"That car that they saw before starts to back up," said Dunn. "Mr. Earls gets out of his car trying to defend himself and his wife shoots at that car, I believe twice."

Those shots proved deadly, hitting 9-year-old Arlene Alvarez who was sitting in the back of her parents' car, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The attorney for the Alvarez family responded to Dunn's claims later on Monday.

"Mr. Earls loses sight of the robber, continues to discharge his firearm while he himself is not taking any gunfire," said Attorney Rick Ramos. "His property is not at risk. He's not in imminent fear of his life. He continues to shoot one, two, three, four, five, six, seven times."

Ramos says Earls didn't see the robber get into a car, and his reckless behavior cost the 9-year-old girl her life.

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"Mr. Earls' behavior, based on the circumstances that you're seeing, is a complete reckless disregard for human life with the intent to cause bodily injury or death as defined by Texas law," Ramos said.

Meanwhile, 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.