Home / World News / Girl, 14, Is Identified in Fatal Police Shooting at Los Angeles Dressing Room

Girl, 14, Is Identified in Fatal Police Shooting at Los Angeles Dressing Room

The Los Angeles Police Department is expected on Monday to release more details, including audio from 911 calls and body camera video footage, about an encounter between officers and a man reported to be assaulting a woman that resulted in the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old girl in a North Hollywood clothing store on Thursday.

Officers responded to multiple radio calls about an assault with a deadly weapon and a potential shooting at a Burlington store on Victory Boulevard, the police said. When officers arrived, they said, they found a man assaulting a woman and fired at him. They identified him as Daniel Elena Lopez.

The teenager, Valentina Orellana-Peralta, was in a dressing room with her mother directly behind him, and the officers did not see her. Police said a bullet, likely fired by an officer, penetrated the dressing room’s wall.

Both the man and the girl died from gunshot wounds to the chest, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Upon surveying the scene after Mr. Elena Lopez’s death, officers then discovered Ms. Orellana-Peralta’s body, the police said.

The unidentified woman who was reported to have been assaulted was taken to a hospital for injuries to her head and arms, Dominic H. Choi, assistant chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, said at a news conference on Thursday. Chief Choi said officers found a heavy metal lock near the man but no gun.

The Los Angeles police chief, Michel R. Moore, said in a statement that the “chaotic incident” was “tragic and devastating for everyone involved.” He pledged to conduct a “thorough, complete and transparent investigation.”

Investigations into shootings involving the police hinge on what the officer “reasonably could have known,” said Eugene O’Donnell, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan and a former New York City police officer.

Inquiries will analyze the officer’s tactics during the shooting, perceptions of the threat and weapons, the officer’s history and interviews with other officers who were at the scene. He noted that the Los Angeles Police Department regularly posts video footage from fatal shootings.

The officer who opened fire has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, which is standard for all police shootings in California, said Tom Saggau, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

After the Police Department completes its investigation, a five-member civilian commission will hold a hearing and issue a recommendation, Mr. Saggau said.

The California Department of Justice and the attorney general’s office are investigating, in addition to the Los Angeles Police Department.

A new state law that went into effect in July requires the California Department of Justice to investigate officer-involved shootings that resulted in an unarmed civilian’s death and assess the potential for a criminal prosecution. If the department declines to file charges, it must issue a public report explaining its decision.

Shootings by Los Angeles Police Department officers have been on the rise, The Los Angeles Times has reported. So far this year, officers have shot 37 people, resulting in 17 fatalities. Last year, officers shot 27 people, killing seven.

Edwin Arroyo, a supervisor at Nancy’s Cleaning Service, was tasked with cleaning the dressing room space a day later. He could not believe, he said in Spanish, that he was cleaning the same place he had read about earlier in the news.

Mr. Arroyo said he got through the day by thinking of his own daughters, who are 12 and 18.

“It gave me so much pain, so much sadness because innocent blood was all over the floor,” he said. “The only thing I really know is that I went home that night and hugged my daughters tightly.”

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