Wednesday, May 29, 2024

No Criminal Charges For LAPD Officer Who Killed 14-Year-Old During Police Confrontation With Suspect

According to prosecutors, an LAPD Officier won’t face charges in the 2021 shooting of a teen girl, who was killed inside a clothing store when police opened fire at a suspect who was assaulting a woman.

The teen, Valentina Orellana-Peralta, was shopping for clothes with her mother at Burlington Coat Factory on December 23, 2021, when a man began to attack shoppers in the store. The pair immediately hid in one of the dressing rooms and prayed.

Upon arriving at the scene, police officers opened fire at the suspect. One of the bullets ultimately ripped through the wall and hit the teen, who was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

store shooting
Body camera footage showered officers confronting the man

The suspect, later identified as 24-year-old Daniel Elena-Lopez, was later shot and killed by police.

On Wednesday, The Department of Justice released a report with details on the case. Findings from the investigation were also included and it was determined that the officer who fatally shot the 14-year-old girl will not be facing criminal charges as ‘there is no evidence to prove that he committed a crime.’

Greg Meyer, an expert on law enforcement, reviewed the case and determined there wasn’t enough time for the police officer to de-escalate the situation.

According to LAPD officer Drake Madison, the LA Police Department cannot make a comment on the case as there is a pending civil litigation.

The Day of the Fatal Shooting

Police received multiple calls of a possible shooting inside Burlington Coat Factory in North Hollywood on December 23, 2021.

valentinas parents
Valentina’s parents held back tears as they attended a press conference at the LA Police Department

In the edited video footage that was released, a man could be seen entering the store wearing a tank top and shorts and taking the escalator to the second floor with his bike.

Not long afterward, he returned to the escalators with a new outfit, after which he began to swing his bike lock at shoppers. He also began to attack several customers.

One video from a police body camera showed a woman covered in blood, lying on the floor.

shooting suspect
The 24-year-old man who attacked two women at the department store was identified as Daniel Elena-Lopez

Officers eventually found the suspect standing at the end of the aisle near the woman, holding an unknown object in his hand. Seconds later, an officer fired three shots with a Colt AR-15 patrol rifle at the man, who fell to the floor.

One of the bullets that was aimed at the man penetrated through the wall and fatally struck Valentina, who was hiding in a dressing room with her mother, in the chest. It had initially hit the ground before changing directions and hitting the fitting room wall.

According to Meyer, there was no time for the officer to assess for such factors while they were confronting the suspect.


Brooke Carter
Brooke Carter
Freelance writer who loves dogs and anything related to Japanese culture.


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