LAPD releases video of department store shooting that left 14-year-old girl, assault suspect dead

The video shows the suspect beating a woman with a bike lock before a group of officers finds him and one opens fire with a rifle

By Josh Cain
The Orange County Register

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department has released footage from inside a North Hollywood Burlington clothing store showing the moment last week when an officer armed with a rifle fired multiple rounds at a man wielding a bike lock, killing him and a 14-year-old girl on the other side of the wall behind him.

“Hey, she’s bleeding! She’s bleeding,” the officer says while walking quickly to an aisle where he sees a woman lying on the ground on the second floor of the store at around noon on Dec. 23.

Cradling the rifle, he approaches the woman and gets a view of 24-year-old Daniel Elena Lopez at the opposite end of the aisle. He immediately points his rifle at Lopez, who flinches and tries to duck. That’s when the officers fires three times.

“Shots fired!” the officer yells as Lopez falls to the ground. A moment later, a woman screams in agony from somewhere else in the store.

As other officers surround Lopez, one officer quickly realizes the screams are coming from inside the dressing room just in front of them. Then the body-worn camera footage ends.

On the day of the shooting, LAPD officials said the officers found the body of 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta inside a stall in that dressing room. Reports indicated Orellana-Peralta was there with her mother shopping for dresses when she was shot.

The footage from the officer who fired the rifle — which shows him arming himself in the parking lot, walking up the escalator to the second floor to join a group of officers already searching the store — makes up less than three minutes of a nearly 35-minute video analysis of the shooting LAPD released this week.

But the moments captured in that short segment will be pored over by investigators, critics of the department and community members trying to understand why Orellana-Peralta was killed.

LAPD is still investigating the shooting. The department typically takes around 10 months to investigate shootings and killings by its officers. The chief of police and Police Commission will determine whether any of the officers will face discipline after the investigation is completed.

The department hasn’t said whether any of the officers have been placed on leave during the investigation, though typically officers are assigned to home while such investigations proceed.

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