The LAPD made good on its word to release the bodycam footage for a tragic shooting that took place last week. Valentina Orellana-Peralta, 14, was killed inside a Burlington department store dressing room when police responded to a call about an assault taking place inside the store.
The teenage girl was in the store with her mother, trying on dresses for her upcoming quinceañera. She was struck when one of the bullets pierced through the drywall and struck her inside the dressing room, which was located on the second floor. She was found dead at the scene.
The assault suspect, Daniel Elena Lopez, 24, was also struck and killed at the scene. Although the initial call to 911 stated that the assault suspect might have had a firearm, the LAPD stated that they did not find a gun at the scene, only a “steel or metal cable lock, a very heavy lock,” which is currently believed to have been the object used in the assault.
The victim of the assault was transported to the hospital. Reporters on the scene described seeing a woman “awake, but bloodied” as she was loaded into an ambulance. Her condition is currently unknown at this time.
LAPD Uploads Security Cam Footage To YouTube
On Monday, December 27, the Los Angeles Police Department uploaded the footage to their YouTube page, along with a lengthy explanation of the events leading up to the shooting.
Police Chief Michel R. Moore wrote:
“This chaotic incident resulting in the death of an innocent child is tragic and devastating for everyone involved. I am 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. My commitment is to conduct a thorough, complete and transparent investigation into the circumstances that led up to this tragedy and provide the family and public with as much information as possible. I have directed the release of the critical incident video by Monday, December 27th, which will include the 9-1-1 calls, radio transmissions, body worn video and any CCTV and other evidence gathered at this preliminary stage.”
The video, which is about 35 minutes in length, begins with a caller yelling, “I have a hostile customer in my store attacking. Evacuate the building!” The suspect can be seen holding a bike and what appears to be a bike chain as he walks into the store and takes the escalator to the second floor.
He later leaves the store and comes back through the front door before grabbing a customer and striking them with the metal object. An officer opened fire on the suspect near the dressing room; it is believed that one of these shots is what killed Orellana-Peralta, 14.
California Attorney General Is Investigating The Incident
At this time, the California Attorney General’s Office and the California Department of Justice are investigating the officer-involved shooting.
One officer’s body camera footage revealed that, when he made it to the aisle where Lopez was standing, he fired three bullets at him. In the video, it does not appear that the officer told Lopez to stop and it did not seem like Lopez was advancing towards him. The victim was on the ground bleeding next to the officer when he discharged his weapon. Lopez was standing at the end of the store aisle, some distance away from the officer.
Criminal defense lawyer John Hamasaki criticized the LAPD use of force after reviewing the body camera footage. “There was nothing in the video that justified opening fire the way the police officer with the assault rifle did,” he said. “I was shocked to see the video… Deadly force is the last option on the table.”
The full footage of the incident can be seen below.