Days after a cop shot dead a 14-year-old inside the Burlington Coat Factory store in North Hollywood, the Los Angeles police department has released the body-camera footage and surveillance video capturing the incident. The victim was identified as Valentina Orellana-Peralta.
Orellana-Peralta was killed after shots were fired at another person, suspected of assault inside the store.
Teenager Died on the Spot
In the incident which took place on Thursday morning, after encountering Daniel Elena Lopez, the man suspected of assault inside the store, a cop, standing at a distance, fired three shots at him. However, one of the bullets bounced off the floor and hit the teen, who was hiding inside the trial room with her mother.
Later, her death was ruled as homicide from a gunshot wound to the chest by the LA county medical examiner's office.
The Guardian reported that in a statement released by the lawyers representing Orellana-Peralta's family said that she was in the dressing room with her mother, trying on Christmas dresses. The teenager died in her mother's arms, according to the statement.
"We at the LAPD would like to express our most heartfelt condolences and profound regret for this innocent victim, Valentina Orianna Peralta. There are no words to describe the depth of the sorrow we feel for this tragic outcome," the LAPD said in the newly released video.
Graphic Footage Sparks Anger
The nearly 35-minute long video released by the LAPD includes the 911 calls, radio transmissions, body camera footage and surveillance video from the shooting.
The woman, likely to be a store employee, who dialed 911 is heard telling the police that there was a "hostile customer", who was "attacking" people inside the store. She is also heard telling people to evacuate the store. Though the caller told that the man held a bike lock to assault the people, it did not appear that he had knife or a gun. However, the newly released footage revealed that Elena Lopez was not carrying a gun.
The footage sparked anger on social media. "This video is horrific and shows just how psychopathic men are. All of his targets were women and he aimed to murder them. An innocent girl was killed by police in the process," tweeted a user.
"A cop with the LAPD @LAPDHQ killed Valentina Orellana-Peralta. They released the video thinking it was going to justify what they did. Instead it reinforced that they are the absolute worst and no one is safe, not even a 14-year-old child in @burlington," wrote another.