CALIFORNIA — The Los Angeles Police Department released surveillance and bodycam video of a shooting that left an innocent 14-year-old girl dead at a Burlington store in North Hollywood.
Valentina Orellana-Peralta, 14, was killed Thursday when officers fired at an assault suspect and a bullet went through a wall and struck the girl in the chest as she hid in a dressing room with her mother.
Police responded to numerous reports of an assault with a deadly weapon and a possible shooting in progress at the Burlington Coat Factory store in North Hollywood.
Surveillance video appears to show the suspect, identified as Daniel Elena-Lopez, 24, attacking multiple people with a bike lock and destroying property. Shortly before police arrive, Elena-Lopez appears to attack a woman from behind with the bike lock.
“As officers arrived at the location, they were directed upstairs to the suspect and began a search,” LAPD Captain Stacy Spell said. “During that search, officers located a female who was suffering from various injuries and bleeding. They encountered the suspect a short distance away, and an officer involved shooting occurred”.
Bodycam video appears to show police witnessing what appeared to be the end of the attack. Several officers approach the scene and an officer can be heard saying that the woman is bleeding. A few seconds later, multiple shots are heard and Elena-Lopez, who appears to have retreated a few feet away from the victim, falls to the floor. Police then place Elena-Lopez in handcuffs. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
The assault victim was transported to the hospital with moderate to serious injuries to her head, face and arms. Police do not believe the woman knew the suspect.
“Unbeknownst to the officers, a 14-year-old girl was in the changing room behind a wall, and was behind the suspect, out of the officers’ view,” Spell said in the video. “At this preliminary phase in the investigation, it is believed that the victim was struck by one of the rounds fired by an officer at the suspect.”
Officers found Valentina Orellana-Peralta dead after seeing a hole in “a solid wall that you can’t see behind,” LAPD Assistant Chief Dominic Choi said.
The officer who fired at Elena-Lopez has been placed on paid administrative leave, per department protocols for officer involved shootings.
Valentina’s parents are set to hold a news conference Tuesday demanding transparency from police, while their attorneys are expected to discuss developments in the case.