The Los Angeles Police Department was expected to release a video and other information Monday about a fatal police shooting last week at a Burlington store that killed a 14-year-old girl and a suspected suspect.
The officer who fired the shot that killed the girl was placed on administrative leave, the department confirmed to USA TODAY.
The male suspect and the girl were the 16th and 17th people shot to death by Los Angeles police officers in 2021 in what has been a substantial increase in fatal police shootings in the past two years. Los Angeles police shot and killed an 18th person, a man with a knife, Sunday night.
Los Angeles County Medical Examiner Friday identified the girl as Valentina Orellana-Peralta, 14, and ruled his death a homicide by gunshot wound to the chest.
The suspected man also died in the shooting and died of a gunshot wound. The coroner identified him as Daniel Elena López, 24 years old.
The officer on administrative leave has not been publicly identified.
The shooting occurred Thursday morning on the second floor of the Burlington clothing store in North Hollywood. Police were responding to a report of someone being attacked with a deadly weapon and shooting with refugees at the scene, Capt. Stacy Spell previously said.
Officers shot the suspect. The girl was in a locker room with her mother on the other side of a wall that was “directly behind the suspect,” police said in a statement. Officers found her while searching for additional suspects and victims, police said.
‘Devastating’:Coroner Identifies 14-Year-Old Girl Killed by LAPD in Burlington Store
Investigators did not find a weapon at the scene, but they did find a “metal or steel cable lock, a very heavy lock” near the suspect that may have been used in the incident, Deputy Chief Dominic Choi said at a news conference. In the past week.
Choi said investigators were trying to determine whether the assault was random or targeted. He said investigators do not believe the teenager is related to the person who was attacked, who was taken to hospital with injuries to the head, face and arms.
Witnesses told KCBS-TV The suspect began acting erratically inside the store packed with Christmas shoppers, threatened to throw items from the upper deck, and attacked a woman with a bicycle lock.
Mayor Eric Garcetti called the shoot a “horrible, horrible tragedy,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
in a statement On Friday, Police Chief Michel Moore promised a “thorough, complete and transparent investigation” into the shooting. He said he directed the release of 911 calls, radio transmissions, body camera video and any CCTV and other evidence for Monday.
Burlington Store Shooting:Los Angeles police kill 14-year-old girl while shooting at assault suspect
In 2021, Los Angeles police shot at least 38 people, according to the Los Angeles Times. Officers shot 27 people and killed seven in 2020. In 2019, officers shot 26 people and killed 12. Before the spike, police shootings hit a 30-year low in 2019 after declining from a high of more than 100 per year in the 1990s.
Albert Corado, who is running for city council, told USA TODAY that the shooting reminded him of his sister’s murder in 2018. That July, a man shot his grandmother and girlfriend before leading police in a chase. which ended when the suspect crashed his car outside a Trader Joe’s Store. The shooting that followed killed Melyda Corado, 27, an assistant store manager.
“That what happened to my sister in 2018 now happens in basically the same way shows that they (LAPD) have no desire to change, to have responsibility or to take care of the public,” Corado said Monday morning.
When he learned of the Burlington shooting, Corado said he was “transported back” to the day his sister was killed. Corado said he grew up in North Hollywood and used to go to that mall with his sister when they were kids.
“My hope in this regard is that the conversation that should have taken place after Mely’s death happens now,” Corado said.
The California Department of Justice is investigating the incident and will submit its findings to the special prosecutions section for independent review, according to California Attorney General Rob Bonta.
Contributors: N’dea Yancey-Bragg and Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism