In California, the Los Angeles Police Department has released surveillance and bodycam footage of the fatal shooting of 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta last Thursday. The teenage girl was killed after an LAPD bullet bounced off the floor and into the dressing room where Orellana-Peralta was trying on dresses with her mother.
The footage shows about a dozen police officers entering the clothing store after receiving reports that a man was assaulting customers. Almost immediately after encountering the suspect in an aisle, one of the officers fired three rounds from an assault rifle, fatally injuring 24-year-old Daniel Elena Lopez, who was armed only with a bicycle lock. The officer didn’t make any commands, and Elena Lopez didn’t appear to pose a threat to the officer. Valentina Orellana-Peralta’s death has been ruled a homicide due to a gunshot wound to her chest. The LAPD officer who killed her hasn’t been identified and was placed on paid leave.
Valentina died in her mother’s arms. Both had come to the U.S. from Chile about six months ago to be with Valentina’s older sister in Los Angeles. The girl’s aunt told the L.A. Times, “Valentina was a shy girl in Chile, but everything was turning out well for her in the U.S. … My sister does not understand how this tragedy could have happened just when they had managed to reunite the family.”