The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer who opened fire on an assault suspect inside a Burlington Coat Factory on Thursday has been placed on leave after a stray bullet killed a 14-year-old girl.
The teen, Valentina Orellana Peralta, was shopping for a quinceañera dress with her mother at the store in North Hollywood before noon when an officer confronted Daniel Elena Lopez, 24.
Lopez had allegedly assaulted a woman with a bike lock inside the store, and the unnamed officer shot him when the suspect was reportedly moving to attack another shopper.
Peralta had been hiding inside the store’s dressing room with her mom when one of the bullets fired at Lopez, killing him, went through the wall and killed her, as well.
The shooting is being investigated by the California Department of Justice under Attorney General Rob Bonta.
Today LAPD released store and body camera footage of the incident.
The video showed officers with guns drawn as they approached a female victim on the ground, her head bleeding profusely after Elena-Lopez repeatedly hit her with the cable lock and then dragged her across the aisles toward the dressing room area.
At one point in the video, one of the officers yelled at the other cops, “Hey, slow down! Let me take point with the rifle,” as they approached the female victim who was bleeding on the floor.
Another officer yelled, “He’s got a tube,” before they approached the aisle where Elena-Lopez was attacking the woman.
The officer armed with a rifle yelled, “Hey, she’s bleeding, she’s bleeding,” right before he fired two shots at Elena-Lopez.
Officials said 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta was killed by a bullet that skipped off the floor and pierced the wall.
“During a search for additional suspects and victims, officers found the girl and discovered she had been struck by gunfire and she was determined deceased at the scene,” said LAPD spokesman Capt. Stacy Spell.
The employee also told the dispatcher that the suspect did not have a knife or a gun, but he had a bicycle lock.
Another caller, however, told dispatchers that the suspect had a gun. The video also showed frantic shoppers running out of the store as officers made their way up the two-story building.
Natalie Dagenhardt is an American conservative writer who writes for Right Journalism! Natalie has described herself as a polemicist who likes to “stir up the pot,” and does not “pretend to be impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do,” drawing criticism from the left, and sometimes from the right. As a passionate journalist, she works relentlessly to uncover the corruption happening in Washington. She is a “constitutional conservative”.