HOUSTON – Police have released surveillance video of a robbery suspect whose crime led to the accidental shooting death of an innocent 9-year-old girl who was riding in a truck with her family Monday night.
The video shows the suspect running and jumping over a gated fence.
Watch the video below:
The gunman, Tony Earls, who was the victim of the robbery, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and his bond was set at $100,000.
According to Houston police, around 9:45 p.m. Monday, Earls was with his wife at the Chase Bank ATM drive-thru in the 2900 block of Woodridge when they were approached by an unknown man and robbed.
While the suspect was fleeing on foot, Earls pulled out a gun and began shooting, also aiming at a pickup truck he thought the suspect had gotten into, police said.
The truck, however, was not involved in the robbery and was occupied by five members of the Alvarez family who were headed to Spanky’s restaurant on Telephone Road.
Arlene, who was sitting in the rear passenger seat, was shot in the head.
Her father, Armando Alvarez, said he told his entire family who were in the vehicle at the time to duck down, but Arlena had on headphones and could not hear him.
Arlene was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital as Earls went home. When he called the police to report his robbery, he learned of the child being shot.
He returned to the scene, surrendered his gun, and was taken into custody.
Arlene, surrounded by love and family members, was removed from life support the following day and died.
During Earls’ court appearance Thursday, his attorney argued that the bond should be reduced because, they felt, Earls was just trying to protect himself and his wife.
HPD said it is investigating the possibility that the person who robbed Earls is the same person who killed Mary Jane Gonzalez in October at the same bank branch.
The surveillance video was released to the public on Friday.
The suspect is described only as a dark-skinned male with a thick build and full eyelashes. Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect seen in the surveillance video or on his whereabouts is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or speak anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.