Los Angeles police release body-camera footage after girl, 14, shot dead inside department store

·3-min read

Los Angeles police have released footage of a shooting that killed a 14-year-old girl hiding in a department store dressing room who was struck by a bullet that went through a wall.

Valentina Orellana-Peralta, 14, was shot dead as she cowered with her mother in a changing room as officers opened fire on a man allegedly attacking shoppers with a bike lock.

Police said a stray bullet fired at the suspect skipped off the floor and went through the dressing room wall.

The 24-year-old suspect, Daniel Elena Lopez, also died at the scene.

Valentina Orellana-Peralta (The family of Valentina Orellana)
Valentina Orellana-Peralta (The family of Valentina Orellana)

The edited video package online included 911 calls, radio transmissions, body camera footage and surveillance video from the shooting on Thursday at a Burlington store crowded with holiday shoppers.

Surveillance video showed the suspect attacking two women, including one who fell to the floor before he dragged her by her feet through the store’s aisles as she tried to crawl away.

Multiple people including store employees called police to report a man striking customers with a bike lock at the store in the North Hollywood area of the San Fernando Valley. One caller told a 911 dispatcher that the man had a gun. No firearm — only the bike lock — was recovered at the scene.

The early surveillance footage showed a man in a tank top and shorts carrying a bicycle up the store’s escalator to the second floor, where he wandered around, seemingly disoriented, clutching a cable-style bike lock. At times he stood motionless, staring into the distance.

The footage later showed the man on the down escalator attacking a woman, who managed to escape his grip and run out of the store.

LAPD body cam footage of the shooting (VIA REUTERS)
LAPD body cam footage of the shooting (VIA REUTERS)

The man then left the store for a minute and a half, police said. After he returned, according to the video, he repeatedly beat a woman with a bike lock while she cowered on the floor. As she tried to escape, he dragged her through the aisle toward the dressing rooms.

In bodycam video, armed officers entered the store and approached the suspect. The victim was seen on the blood-stained floor and the suspect was on the other side of the aisle. At least one officer opened fire, striking the man.

“At this preliminary phase of the investigation, it is believed that the victim was struck by one of the rounds fired by an officer at the suspect,” police Capt. Stacy Spell said in the posted video.

The investigation is just beginning and it could take up to a year or more to complete, Capt Spell said. The California Department of Justice is also investigating.

“We at the LAPD would like to express our most heartfelt condolences and profound regret for the loss of this innocent victim, Valentina Orellana-Peralta. There are no words that can describe the depth of the sorrow we feel at this tragic outcome,” the officer said in the video.

The girl’s parents will appear with civil rights attorney Ben Crump at a news conference outside Los Angeles police headquarters on Tuesday.

Mourners left flowers and a votive candle outside the store on Christmas in a memorial for Orellana-Peralta.

The woman who was assaulted had moderate to serious injuries, including wounds to her head, arms and face. She has not been named publicly.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting