Alvarez was killed on February 14 when a robbery victim shot her family’s vehicle, thinking he was going to shoot the robbery suspect.
HOUSTON — Nine-year-old Arlene Alvarez was buried Friday in an emotional ceremony that celebrated the happy, energetic girl she was.
The funeral, which took place on Grace Church Houstonbegan with church tunes in English and Spanish before several speakers took the stage to talk about the young girl who was shot while she and her family were out to a Valentine’s Day dinner.
“Arlene was a loving, energetic sweet girl,” said one of the spokespeople. “As a caregiver, she loved children and was always helping mom with her little brothers.”
Arlene was the eldest of three. She had two younger brothers, the youngest is 5 months old.
During the funeral, Arlene was described as a young girl who always offered comfort to those who needed it, especially her family.
“Family was everything to her. She loved her parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and godparents,” said another spokesman.
Arlene also loved animals. Those who knew her said she wanted to be a vet or doctor.
At the end of the service, Arlene’s mother spoke about how close she and her oldest baby were.
“We connected to work, school and social media,” said Gwen Alvarez. “You were my movie buddy, you would always love to match with me. You were a great sister, you played your role really well and baby you are missed for that.”
Watch the entire funeral service below:
A bullet hit Arlene in the head on Valentine’s Day while she and her family were out Spanky’s Pizza for dinner. She was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead a day later.
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“As a father, she died 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,” Arlene’s father said the week it happened.
The community has rallied around the Alvarez family with fundraisers and even a horseback ride in their honor.
You can Read tributes to Arlene here.
Tony Earls is charged with aggravated assault with aggravated assault in connection with the death of Alvarez.
Surveillance video released this week shows the armed robbery of Earls and his wife that led to the shooting of Arlene. Earls said the robber shot him and he returned fire.
Earls has since posted $100,000 bail and was released from prison.