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6-year-old shot outside Texas McDonald's by security guard chasing a shoplifting suspect

Posted: 2:16 PM, Nov 14, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-14 19:18:58Z

HOUSTON, TX-- A six-year-old girl is beginning a slow road to recovery after she was shot in the leg Monday. 

"I'm grateful that she's alive, first of all, that's most important. Second of all, it's more so how the situation happened, it could have been a lot worse," said her aunt Jessica Montanez.

Authorities say a security guard who was going after a shoplifting suspect shot and wounded the girl while she was in her car. The suspect was also hit but is expected to recover, reports. 

Six-year-old Claire is recovering after a three-hour surgery to remove the bullet.

"She's in pain," Montanez said.

Police say 18-year-old Earnest Hudson was stealing an iPhone from the T-Mobile on Airline Drive. Hudson fled the store and police say T-Mobile's security guard, Christopher Bradley, started shooting at him.

Ten shots were fired while Claire was in her family's car at the McDonald's next door. 

"They were at McDonald's four o'clock in the afternoon getting something to eat and her dad heard shots ring out and they ducked. All of a sudden, five seconds later we hear 'daddy I'm hurt.' Turns around and notices that she has been shot," Montanez said.

Claire was taken to the hospital. After surgery, she was able to lift her leg. But it's unclear if she has nerve damage and the road to recovery will be a long one.

"This is going to be expensive and it's going to be long-term, this is not something that's just going to, she gets out of the hospital and she's back to normal," her aunt said.

Her family doesn't have insurance and has set up a Gofundme page to help.

The security guard who fired the gun is now in Houston police custody. He's charged with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, according to KTRK.  It's unclear what charges if any,  the shoplifting suspect faces.