Valentina Orellana Peralta LA teen girl, 14, killed by stray police bullet while trying on dresses at Burlington clothing store as police shot at suspect.
They had been planning on a celebration- now they are planning on their daughter’s funeral…
A teenage girl has died after accidentally being hit by a stray police bullet while trying on dresses inside a Los Angeles clothing store in North Hollywood for an upcoming rite of passage celebration.
Valentina Orellana Peralta, aged 14 was inside a Burlington store clothing store changing room on Thursday when she was ‘accidentally’ struck by police fire as cops fired at a male suspect who had assaulted a woman earlier. The man was killed and the woman suffered moderate to serious injuries police said during a news conference.
In total three gunshots were fired, with one of the gunshots going through a wall near the suspect and inadvertently striking the teen girl in the dressing room ABC News reported.
The victim’s family said the teen girl had been trying on dresses for a quinceañera – a rite-of-passage 15th birthday celebration according to the LA Times.
Did police exercise enough due diligence and caution?
The shots were fired about 11:45 a.m. at a Burlington store — part of a chain formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory — in North Hollywood, Los Angeles police Capt. Stacy Spell told reporters.
At the time of the shooting, the victim and her mother were inside the clothing store when an LAPD bullet struck the daughter according to LAPD Assistant Chief Dominic Choi.
‘You can’t see into the dressing rooms and it just looks like a straight wall of drywall,’ Choi said at a news conference, adding that police do not yet know whether she was in the dressing room before the shooting erupted or ran inside to hide.
An LAPD source told the LA Times that the teen was at the store to try on dresses for a quinceañera, a popular Latin American celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday that marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood.
‘It’s just absolutely heartbreaking, and I cannot find words to try to comfort a mother and a family, but I will ensure them and the public and our people that we will conduct a complete and thorough investigation,’ LAPD Chief Michel Moore told reporters.
Moore said it did not appear that the cop who fired the deadly round ‘would have known that there was anyone behind there or that he was looking at anyone other than the suspect and a wall.’
The police chief said a ‘thorough and transparent’ investigation into the tragic shooting would ensue.
My cousins (pictured here) had their quinceañera this past weekend. These are the types of dresses people wear to their quinceañeras.
Valentina Orellana-Peralta was shot and killed by LAPD when she was shopping for a dress to look and feel like a young queen.
Fuck LAPD. pic.twitter.com/WwhceEG7AS
— 🦋🦋🦋 (@s_phia_) December 24, 2021
Thorough transparent investigation to ensue
‘There’s not a police officer in America who would ever want this type of circumstance to occur,’ Moore said.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta said the state Department of Justice will probe the shooting under rules set by Assembly Bill 1506, which took effect July 1 and requires his office to independently investigate all fatal police shootings of unarmed civilians, the LA Times reported.
Police said they found a heavy metal cable lock near the suspect whom officers were confronting, but that no gun was recovered.