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Heartbroken parents of 9-year-old girl shot and killed after ATM robbery want justice for Arlene

"It just hurts me so much, it's gonna hurt me forever, but I just want justice for my baby girl," Arlene's mom said. "And people need to stop having road rage..."

HOUSTON — The family of a 9-year-old who died after being shot when a man opened fire on who he thought was a robbery suspect is demanding justice for their daughter.

Arlene Alvarez and her family were heading out to Valentine’s Day dinner when police say 41-year-old Tony Earls shot at a vehicle he thought the suspect was in. But it wasn't the suspect's vehicle. It was the Alvarez family vehicle. 

Armando Alvarez said Arlene was sitting in the back seat watching a movie when she was shot in the head.

"I told everybody to get down, and Arlene's the only one that didn't get down, she had her headphones in," Armando said during a news conference Wednesday.

"Duck down, duck down, Arlene,' but I didn't scream loud enough, I didn't know she had her earphones on," her mom Gwen said as she choked back tears while clutching a teddy bear with a recording of Arlene's heartbeat.

"This is her right now. This is my baby, this is what I've got," Gwen said.

WATCH: News conference with Arlene Alvarez's family

'It's not self-defense'

Police said Earls had been robbed at gunpoint at a Chase Bank off Woodridge and shot at the robbery suspect as they ran away. Earls then opened fire on Arlene’s family’s truck because he said he thought the suspect jumped into it.

“Now he wants to say it’s self-defense. It’s not self-defense,” Armando Álvarez said. “You don’t self-defense when a person is running already two blocks away from you and you’re shooting at that person and then you decide to shoot at a truck just because he’s passing by at a public street. Now my daughter’s gone. I mean c’mon.”

"It just hurts me so much, it's gonna hurt me forever, but I just want justice for my baby girl," Gwen said. "And people need to stop having road rage, they need to stop having all this anger towards them and shooting like crazy because there's a lot of innocent little babies."

"I know Arlene. She's fighting right now for justice, for all these kids getting killed. Innocent adults, too, I mean everybody in general," she said. "My daughter had a connection with everybody. Maybe this had to happen to my daughter so the word could be out."

Armando said she was Arlene was a fourth-grader at De Zavala Elementary who loved being a big sister to her two brothers.

"She was just an old soul," the family's attorney said. "She was just an enjoyable little person that just absolutely loved life."

Attorney also blames bank

Earls appeared in court overnight on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. It is unclear if his charge will be upgraded following the death of Arlene. His bond was set at $100,000.

The attorney is also questioning why there wasn't security at the bank because other crimes have happened there, according to the attorney. He said they plan to pursue legal action against the bank.

“We’re saddened by this tragic incident and offer our sincere condolences to the Alvarez family. We are working closely with local officials who are handling the investigation," Chase said in a statement to KHOU 11.

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