In the aftermath of a police officer fatally shooting an innocent 14-year-old girl inside a Burlington store in North Hollywood, the LAPD released video footage on Monday depicting the officer-involved shooting.
According to surveillance video, Daniel Elena-Lopez entered the store with a bicycle and bike lock, which he used to hit a computer monitor, a security camera, and several customers. He appeared intoxicated while staggering around the second floor and repeatedly striking a partition next to the escalators with the bike lock.
Although several people called 911 to report that the suspect was assaulting customers with a bike lock, one of the callers erroneously reported that she heard gunshots despite the fact that Elena-Lopez did not have a firearm. In the newly released police body cam footage, a witness told the responding officers that the suspect was attacking people with a bike lock.
Equipped with nonlethal weapons, the initial group of police officers entered the store and cautiously moved to the second floor. A fifth cop armed with a rifle ordered the other officers to slow down so that he could take point after they noticed a woman bleeding from a wound to her head.
In the police body cam video, Elena-Lopez stood in front of the dressing rooms with the bike lock in his right hand. As the suspect attempted to flee, the officer with the rifle fired three shots, which killed Elena-Lopez and 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta, who was hiding inside a dressing room 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,” said LAPD Captain Stacy Spell. “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. There are no words that can describe the depth of the sorrow we feel for this tragic outcome.”
The officer-involved shooting remains under investigation to determine whether the officer’s use of lethal force was reasonable. The LAPD has not released the name of the officer who fatally shot Elena-Lopez and Orellana-Peralta.