'They need to suffer what we suffer': Family marches for child victims of gun violence

Sunday, February 20, 2022
People march for justice in shooting death of 9-year-old
The family of 9-year-old Ashanti Grant was there in support of Arlene's family as they seek justice for their little ones who were both victims of gun violence.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The community joined the parents of 9-year-old Arlene Alvarez in a march for justice after the man who shot and killed their daughter was released Friday night on bond.

On Feb. 14, Houston police said Tony Earls shot and killed Arlene after he was robbed at a Chase Bank ATM in Gulfgate.

Earls was charged with aggravated assault and posted a $100,000 bond.

New surveillance video shows the unidentified, alleged thief who triggered the shooting. On Friday night, both men were free.

SEE RELATED STORY: 'How many kids have to die?': Girl's family angered by release of accused gunman

Arlene's parents, Armando and Gwen Alvarez, returned to the bank where their family vehicle was shot at several times and demand to see justice served for their little girl and the other young victims of gun violence.

"That's not fair that the guys are out there like without anything. It's not fair. They need to be in jail. No bond. They need to suffer what we suffer because we don't sleep. We go through the pain and they don't," said Armando.

Among the crowd, showing support for Arlene's family was Elaine Grant-Williams, the grandmother of 9-year-old Ashanti Grant who was critically injured in a road rage incident.

The shooting happened Feb. 9 in the 9800 block of the Southwest Freeway, as a family of four -- Ashanti, her mother, her father, and her 11-year-old brother -- were in a Tahoe headed to the grocery store.

Ashanti has been in the hospital on life support since the shooting. Grant-Williams said she is showing signs of improvement.

"She's in there fighting," Grant-Williams said to the crowd on Saturday. "She's still in a coma, but she's fighting y'all. I want y'all to know."

Grant-Williams said their family stands in solidarity with Arlene's family in their fight for justice.

In Saturday's march, there were also demands for justice and prayers for the family of 11-year-old Darius Dugas II who was shot and killed while getting his coat from his mother's car on Feb. 3.

All three children are among the young, innocent victims in the past three weeks that have been caught in the crossfire of gun violence seen throughout the Houston and Harris County area.

"This is all about support," Grant-Williams said. "Doesn't matter what color you are. We are all the same. We are all going to continue to fight."

The Alvarez family is only accepting donations through CashApp: $1ABZ.

While Ashanti continues her fight, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help her family pay for expenses as they continue to stay by her side.

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