The 14-year-old girl who was killed when a Los Angeles police officer’s bullet struck her after it pierced through a Burlington Coat Factory dressing room wall in a shooting that left a suspect dead was identified Friday.
She was identified by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office as Valentina Orellana-Peralta. She sustained a gunshot wound to the chest, the coroner said.
Orellana-Peralta was in the changing room with her mother when she was shot, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
The shooting happened after LAPD officers responded to the retail outlet in North Hollywood around 11:45 a.m. Thursday amid reports of an assault with a deadly weapon at the store. As they were en route, they received calls that a possible shooting occurred and that people were sheltering in place.
When they arrived, they found a female bleeding with various injuries. They found the suspect a short distance away and police opened fire, killing the unidentified assailant, police said.
“Unbeknownst to the officers, a 14-year-old girl was in a changing room behind a wall, that was directly behind the suspect and out of the officers’ view,” the LAPD said in a news release.
Orellana-Peralta was found as officers were searching the store for victims.
“This chaotic incident resulting in the death of an innocent child is tragic and devastating for everyone involved,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said. “I’m profoundly sorry for the loss of this young girl’s life and I know there are no words that can relieve the unimaginable pain for the family.”
The woman who was initially assaulted was taken to a hospital. A motive for the attack has not been disclosed.
Moore said the department will conduct a “thorough, complete and transparent investigation” into the incident and will provide the family and public with as much information as possible. He directed the release of video footage, including 911 calls, radio transmissions, police body cameras, and security footage, to be released by Monday.
Girl, 14, killed by LAPD bullet in Burlington Coat Factory dressing room identified