Girl, 14, ‘Accidentally’ Killed by LAPD in Department Store Shooting
In SummaryA 14-year-old girl was killed in North Hollywood by Los Angeles Police Department gunfire who were aiming for another suspect.
WARNING: This story contains discussions of a shooting involving a police officer.
The Los Angeles Police Department has once again found itself at the center of criticism after a 14-year-old girl was “accidentally” shot and killed by an officer two days before Christmas.
Los Angeles Times reported the teenager was at a Burlington clothing store in North Hollywood trying on dresses for a quinceanera while police were responding to calls of assault with a deadly weapon.
According to LAPD Chief Michael Moore, officers confronted a suspect who they believe was attacking someone in the business and opened fire, killing the teenager who was, “in a dressing room behind a wall… in the path of where the officer fired.” The victim was identified on Friday as Valentina Orellana-Peralta.
Another woman was injured and the male suspect was killed, with the only evidence recovered from the scene being a metal cable.
“This chaotic incident resulting in the death of an innocent child is tragic and devastating for everyone involved,” Chief Moore said in a statement. “I am profoundly sorry for the loss of this young girl’s life and I know there are no words that can relieve the unimaginable pain for the family.”
It’s unclear at this time what prompted the officer to open fire, but the incident has provoked uproar on social media — with many Twitter users accusing the cops of being reckless and neglecting to protect the community.
Moore assured the family and the public that a full and thorough investigation would be conducted. Once the investigation is completed, findings will be given over to the department’s special prosecutions unit for independent evaluation.
If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by shootings involving police officers, resources are available here.