HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- At least a couple of hundred people came out Wednesday night to honor Arlene Alvarez's life. There were hugs, words of support, audible sobs, and tears on the tiniest faces.
"She would be amazed," Arlene's father, Armando Alvarez said.
The crowd shouted, "We love you, Arlene," as they released balloons into the air. They also chanted for justice.
"My baby's never going to come back. She made an impact on a lot of people. I am truly going to miss her, because she was truly my backbone," said Arlene's mother, Gwen Alvarez. "Even though she was 9, she had the mentality of a 16-year-old girl. That little girl had it all."
Her short life was claimed by violence that elected leaders say the city cannot accept.
"We cannot be like this. We are family. We cannot have our babies dying. I came here today because I am a mother. Arlene is my baby," said U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
"She was something else from day one. We didn't even know it. You know, we don't know what we have until they're gone," Armando said.
A minister reminded her loved ones that little Arlene is at rest saying, "She entered into glory. She is at peace. She is being blessed. She is with our savior. There is nothing that could be better for her than being with God right now."
The Alvarez family is only accepting donations through CashApp: $1ABZ.
The man accused of shooting and killing Arlene is due in court on Thursday.