Civil rights attorney Ben Crump will represent the family of Valentina Orellana-Peralta, the 14-year-old girl who was shot and killed by a Los Angeles police officer’s stray bullet while they pursued an assault suspect last week.
Crump and the girl’s family will appear together for a press conference outside of the Los Angeles police headquarters later today (Dec. 28).
“Just days before Christmas, Valentina Orellana-Peralta was trying on Quinceañera dresses w/ her mom when police started shooting at a suspect outside of the dressing rooms,” Crump wrote on Twitter. “A stray bullet from an officer’s assault rifle struck & killed Valentina. Her death was preventable!”
On Monday (Dec. 27), police released body camera footage from the shooting as well as 911 calls, radio transmission and surveillance video related to the incident. As reported by REVOLT, police received a call on Thursday (Dec. 23) about a man attacking a woman with a bike lock inside a North Hollywood Burlington store in San Fernando Valley. Surveillance footage showed the suspect, 24-year-old Daniel Elena Lopez, attacked two women, including one he dragged through store aisles after she fell to the floor.
Several people, including shoppers and store employees, called police about the attack. One person reportedly told police that Lopez was armed; however, a gun was never found at the scene.
After seeing a bloodied woman at the store, at least one officer opened fire on Lopez, killing him at the scene. However, at the same time, one officer’s bullet pierced through the wall of a dressing room, where Orellana-Peralta was hiding with her mother.
“At this preliminary phase of the investigation, it is believed that the victim was struck by one of the rounds fired by an officer at the suspect,” police Capt. Stacy Spell said in Monday’s video statement.
“We at the LAPD would like to express our most heartfelt condolences and profound regret for the loss of this innocent victim, Valentina Orellana-Peralta,” she added. “There are no words that can describe the depth of the sorrow we feel at this tragic outcome.”
According to Spell, the California Department of Justice has also launched an investigation into the shooting, which could take over a year to complete.
See Crump’s tweet and a clip from police’s body camera footage below.
Just days before Christmas, Valentina Orellana-Peralta was trying on Quinceañera dresses w/ her mom when police started shooting at a suspect outside of the dressing rooms. A stray bullet from an officer’s assault rifle struck & killed Valentina. Her death was preventable! pic.twitter.com/4FLs3WVrbj
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 28, 2021