LAPD cop who shot 14-year-old girl by mistake was told 'slow down' by fellow officer
The Los Angeles Police Department released video and audio evidence that depicted the circumstances leading up to the death of 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta by an officer who was firing at a suspect at a store. The accidental death of the young girl inside the Burlington Coat Factory shop in North Hollywood on Thursday, December 23, was deemed a homicide. She died of a gunshot wound to the chest caused by a stray bullet while she was hiding in the store's changing room with her mother.
Los Angeles police officers had reportedly pleaded with their colleague, minutes before he fired the shot that killed Valentina, to 'slow down' and 'hold up'. Valentina was shot two days before Christmas while shopping for a quinceanera gown at the store. Valentina's dying moments were documented in the severely edited bundle of surveillance and police body camera footage released by the LAPD. Armed cops enter the store and approach Daniel Elena-Lopez, 24, who is accused of assaulting two women, according to the cops' bodycam videos. Three 911 calls were also released, one of which described "a guy with a gun."
Valentina Orellana Peralta: Teen fatally shot by LA cop was shopping for quinceañera
Valentina Orellana-Peralta: CCTV clip shows CHILLING moments before 14-yr-old was shot
The attacker assaulted multiple customers before one of the cop opened fire, according to the edited security tapes and body camera footage provided by authorities. Before the shooting, one officer can be heard asking the cop to "slow down." Officers discovered "a female who was suffering from various injuries and bleeding" while conducting a search at the store before the shooting, according to LAPD Captain Stacy Spell. "Hold up! Hold up, Jones! Hold up! Hold up!" another officer screams just before three shots ring out. According to authorities, the cop who was carrying the firearm pulled the trigger. Elena-Lopez died instantly after collapsing on the floor. Valentina's mother can be heard screaming in the dressing room near her dying daughter in the background of the video. Orellana-Peralta was struck by a bullet that skipped off the floor and entered the dressing room wall,' according to Capt Stacy Spell.
"They encountered the suspect a short distance away, and an officer-involved shooting occurred," Spell explained. A statement, released by LAPD Chief Michel Moore, expressed regret for the teen's death. "This chaotic incident resulting in the death of an innocent child is tragic," Moore added. The cop who fired the deadly rounds that killed Elena-Lopez and Orellana Peralta is yet to be identified. Meanwhile, Valentina's distraught parents protested outside the LAPD headquarters demanding justice for their daughter.
There was no indication from the video that officers sought to deescalate the situation before the shooting, according to San Francisco police commission member John Hamasaki, a criminal defence lawyer who has been engaged in examining videos of police murders. "Deadly force is the last option on the table," Hamasaki stated according to Daily Mail.