Fourteen-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta was preparing for the biggest party of her life when she was shot and killed by an LAPD cop inside a department store dressing room while shopping with her mother last week.
Moments ago, Los Angeles police released video footage from the shooting along with recordings of the 911 calls. The 35-minute video is below in its entirety.
Police say the cop was shooting a man outside the dressing room when one of the bullets entered the dressing room and struck the girl in the chest while she was trying on a dress for her quinceañera, the traditional coming-of-age celebration in Latin American culture when a girl turns 15.
Her family had just moved from Chile to California in search of a better life, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Also killed was the 24-year-old man, Daniel Elena Lopez – who did not have a gun – but what police described as a “very heavy lock” which police say he may have been using attack a woman.
The shooting took place at around 11:45 a.m. Thursday at a Burlington store in North Hollywood when the store was filled with last-minute Christmas shoppers, drawing criticism because LAPD has killed more than twice as many people this year compared to earlier years.
The shooting also drew comparisons to a 2018 incident in which LAPD cops shot and killed a Trader Joe’s manager named Melyda Corado while trying to shoot at another man who had shot at them.
With less than a week before the year ends, LAPD have shot at 37 people in 2021, killing 18 of them, according to Newsweek.
In 2020, LAPD shot at 27 people, killing seven. The year before, LAPD shot at 26 people, killing 12.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore has attributed the increase in shooting deaths to an increase in interactions with people with mental illness who are armed, according to the San Bernardino Sun.
However, it was only last year that the LAPD issued a “use of force tactics directive” stating that “before discharging a firearm, officers shall consider their surroundings, background, and potential risk to bystanders to the extent reasonable under the circumstances.”
Domingo Garcia, the national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, issued the following statement last week:
“It is indefensible that trained Los Angeles police officers could open fire in a crowded store at the height of Christmas shopping without first knowing for sure if (the suspect) was armed.”