The Houston Police Department said the 9-year-old was shot Monday by a man who opened fire at a suspect who was robbing him at gunpoint at a drive-through ATM.
CNN  — 

A 9-year-old girl has died after she was shot while in a car with her family in the Houston area, police say.

“Sadly, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences advised late (Tuesday) afternoon that the nine-year-old girl has been pronounced deceased,” the Houston Police Department tweeted.

Mayor Sylvester Turner identified the girl as Arlene Alvarez.

“The precious little girl was an innocent victim caught in the crossfire of an incident that had nothing to do with her or her family,” he wrote on Twitter. “My heart goes out to Arlene’s mother, father and siblings following her tragic death this afternoon. We cannot imagine their unfathomable grief.”

Houston Police officials said Arlene was shot Monday by a man who opened fire after he was robbed at gunpoint at a drive-through ATM.

The suspect first shot at the robber, who fled the scene, police say. The suspect then fired at a vehicle that “he thought” belonged to the person who had robbed him, according to a Houston Police Department statement. The vehicle he fired upon was occupied by a family of five who had nothing to do with the robbery, police said.

CNN affiliate KHOU reported Arlene’s family were going to the ATM on their way to a pizza place for a Valentine’s Day dinner. Arlene was in the back seat, watching a movie.

“I think she passed away yesterday, to be honest with you guys,” Arlene’s father, Armando, told the station. “As a dad, she passed away in my arms. Something not really to brag about or talk about but I saw her come in and I saw her leave, I can tell you that.”

He said Arlene loved helping care for her younger siblings. “We just had our 4-month-old son,” he told KHOU. “She always wanted to be there to change his diapers. She was a mom.”

Police identified the shooting suspect as Tony D. Earls, 41. He faces a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in relation to the shooting of the girl, according to a charging document.

CNN has been unable to determine whether Earls has obtained legal counsel at this time, and has reached out to the Public Defender’s office.

The identity of the robbery suspect, who remains at large, is still under investigation, said Houston Police Executive Chief Matt Slinkard. “Anytime that there’s guns involved, the danger to innocent bystanders is extremely high,” Slinkard said.

This was the second recent shooting of a 9-year-old girl in the area. Last week 9-year-old Ashanti Grant was shot in an alleged road rage incident while watching cartoons in the back seat of the family car, according to her family.

Grant is in critical condition, her family told CNN.

Grant’s family held a news conference alongside local police and city officials Monday to ask the public for help finding the suspect.

No suspects have been identified in that shooting. Police continue to investigate.