Six-year-old girl who was shot in the leg during robbery at McDonald's takes first steps after surgery
Claire Tidwell was hit in the leg after an overzealous security guard fired multiple shots at a robber, but is now recovering well after her surgery.
A six-year-old girl who was caught in the crossfire during a shooting involving a security guard and a robber in Houston, Texas, is said to be responding well to her surgery and recovering as expected. According to KPRC-TV, six-year-old Claire Tidwell was in a car at a drive-thru at a McDonald's in the 5500 block of Airline Drive at Tidwell Road in the city when a robbery was underway at a T-Mobile store next door. Police say two men entered the store, with one of them grabbing a phone and taking off.
The security guard at the store, identified as one Christopher Jermaine Bradley, intervened and fired close to a dozen shots — authorities later said he discharged his weapon 10 times — at the suspect, striking him in the process. However, Claire was hit in the leg by one of the stray bullets.
Recounting about the incident, the six-year-old's father Danny Tidwell said, "We were in the window, we were buying our food and all of a sudden we heard gunshots. Me and my son, we ducked down because it was so loud. We knew it was close but we couldn’t tell where it was coming from. There were people running all over the place … my daughter was in the back seat and she said, 'Daddy, I’m hurt.'"
He also praised his daughter for remaining calm throughout the entire ordeal. "When she realized that I was panicking and I was about to lose it, she told me, she said, ‘Daddy, I’m OK. I’m going to be fine," he said. "It could have been a lot worse. We still don’t know the extent of the damage, but she’s alive."
Tidwell said there were still gunshots ringing out in the air when he reached back to his daughter to help stop the bleeding. He then drove his family home before calling an ambulance that would take his daughter to the Memorial Hermann Hospital.
The father said doctors were able to remove the bullet without causing any additional damage to the leg after a three-hour surgery. She took her first steps this past Tuesday, just a day after she had been shot in the leg and her aunt, Jessica Montanez, said she was the "bravest 6-year-old I have ever met in my life."
ABC 13 reports that Bradley is currently in the custody of the Houston Police Department, though he has not yet been charged by the district attorney. A woman who claimed to be his mother said her son was remorseful about injuring the girl and that his manager had given him permission to fire at the suspect as he left the store as it had already been robbed multiple times.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise donations that will go towards the costs of the recovery Claire will be needing over the coming months.