Child hit by security guard's gunfire in McDonald's drive-thru undergoes surgery

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter, Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter, Syan Rhodes - Anchor/Reporter, Sofia Ojeda - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - A 6-year-old girl injured during a shooting involving a security guard and a robbery suspect is recovering in the hospital after undergoing surgery.

The security guard, identified as Christopher Jermaine Bradley, is in custody Tuesday after being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He has not yet appeared in court.

The shooting happened around 4 p.m. Monday at a T-Mobile store in the 5500 block of Airline Drive at Tidwell Road.

According to police, two men entered the store. One of them grabbed a phone and took off.  

Bradley, a T-Mobile security guard, intervened during the robbery and fired nearly a dozen shots at the man, striking him.

Six-year-old Claire Tidwell, who was in a car in the drive-thru at the McDonald's next door to the shooting scene, was hit in the leg by a stray bullet, police said.

Her father, Danny Tidwell, said Claire Tidwell is in recovery after undergoing surgery at Memorial Hermann Hospital Tuesday. 

He said doctors were able to remove the bullet without causing additional damage to her leg. 

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Claire is seen recovering in an area hospital after being shot on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018.

VIDEO: Claire Tidwell walking after surgery

Tidwell told KPRC2 he is still reliving the moments after realizing his daughter was shot.

“We were in the window, we were buying our food and all of a sudden we heard gunshots,” Tidwell said. “Me and my son, we ducked down because it was so loud. We knew it was close but we couldn’t tell where it was coming from. There were people running all over the place … my daughter was in the back seat and she said, ‘Daddy, I’m hurt.’” 

Tidwell told KPRC2 there was still gunshots going on when he reached back to stop the bleeding. He drove home and called the ambulance that took Claire to the hospital.

Claire showed how brave she was during the whole ordeal by helping keep him calm, Tidwell said,

“When she realized that I was panicking and I was about to lose it, she told me, she said, ‘Daddy, I’m OK. I’m going to be fine,’” Tidwell said. “It could have been a lot worse. We still don’t know the extent of the damage, but she’s alive.”

Her family started a GoFundme for Claire Tidwell.

A woman who identified herself as Bradley's mother said her son is remorseful about wounding the girl.

The woman said her son's store has been robbed multiple times -- even two days ago -- and says his manager gave him permission to fire at a suspect once they left the store.

"I know my son has to work to pay his bills," Sherhonda Bradley said. "I just pray that he finds something else in a better area because this area is really, really bad."

Here is a statement from T-Mobile:

"This is a tragic situation and our thoughts are with everyone involved. We are working closely with the independently-owned third party retailer that operates the store to fully understand the facts around this terrible incident and how their security service responded. We will also continue to provide assistance to law enforcement in their ongoing investigation."

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