Coroner’s Daughter Killed by Police in Los Angeles Shooting | National / Global News
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The coroner’s office has identified the 14-year-old girl who was shot dead by Los Angeles Police on Thursday when officers shot an assault suspect and a bullet went through the wall and punched the girl while she was in a clothing store locker room.
Police also shot dead the suspect Thursday morning at a Burlington store in the North Hollywood area of the San Fernando Valley, police said.
The Los Angeles County coroner identified the girl as Valentina Orellana-Peralta and the suspect as Daniel Elena Lopez, 24. Coroner’s records online show their autopsies were performed and their causes of death were both gunshot wounds to the chest.
LAPD agents shot dead at least 37 people – including 17 fatally – in 2021 after another police shootout on Friday, according to the Los Angeles Times. These numbers mark a dramatic increase in the number of cases where officers have shot or killed people in any of the past two years – 27 people were shot and 7 of them killed by LA police during year 2020. In 2019, officers shot dead 26 people, killing 12.
Over the past week, LA officers killed four people, including two men in separate incidents on Saturday, the newspaper reported.
Witnesses in North Hollywood told KCBS-TV on Thursday that the man started acting erratically, threatening to throw objects from the upper floor, and he attacked a woman with a bike lock shortly before noon while the store was packed with holiday shoppers.
Officers responded to one report of assault and others of gunfire, police said. Investigators did not find a weapon at the scene.
The suspect was shot and died in the store, but one of the bullets went through the drywall behind the man and killed the young girl, who was in a locker room with her mother, police said.
Officers found the teenager dead after seeing a hole in “a solid wall that you can’t see behind,” LAPD deputy chief Dominic Choi said.
Investigators were not immediately sure if she was in the locker room before the violence started or if she had run away there to hide, he said.
“This chaotic incident resulting in the death of an innocent child is tragic and devastating for all involved,” Police Chief Michel Moore said in a statement Thursday evening. “I am deeply sorry for the loss of the life of this young girl and I know that there are no words that can ease the unimaginable pain for the family.”
Moore has promised a “full, full and transparent investigation” into the shooting and said video of the critical incident that will include calls to 911, a body camera and other videos will be released by Monday.
The woman who was attacked is not identified.
Investigators were trying to determine whether the assault was random or targeted. Choi said they did not believe the teenager was related to the person who was attacked.
Police found a heavy metal anti-theft cable near the suspect, Choi said.
The California Department of Justice was investigating the shooting, Attorney General Rob Bonta said.
Reports have shown that a woman with a bloodied face, who appeared to be the victim of the assault, was placed in an ambulance.
The victim was taken to hospital with moderate to severe injuries, firefighter spokesman Nicholas Prange said. Choi said she had injuries to her head, arms and face.
The Times reported on Friday morning that the Burlington store remained closed even though it was supposed to open at 7 a.m.
Several signs posted in Spanish and English stating ‘closed until further notice !!! Greeted potential buyers as others left flowers and a flickering candle in a memorial for the teenager outside the store.
Edwin Arroyo, supervisor of Nancy’s cleaning services, told The Times he found blood smeared on a locker room wall, as well as on a cream-colored dress left on a hanger.
“It was a horrible scene,” Arroyo, father of girls aged 12 and 18, told the newspaper. “I don’t know how many shots there were, but there was a lot of blood everywhere. “
The shooting was reminiscent of a July 21, 2018 confrontation, in which LAPD agents accidentally shot and killed a woman in a Trader Joe’s market. Officers engaged in a shootout with a man who authorities said shot his grandmother and girlfriend before leading police in a chase that ended when he crashed his car in front of the Marlet.
A police bullet killed Melyda Corado, 27, the deputy store manager, as she ran towards the store entrance after hearing the car crash.
The suspect, Gene Evin Atkins, held employees and buyers hostage for three hours before surrendering, authorities said.
Atkins has pleaded not guilty to the murder.
Prosecutors found two police officers were acting legally when they returned the shots from Atkins.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.