Teen Girl Killed in LAPD Shooting While Christmas Shopping: Officer Will Not Face Charges

Los Angeles, CA – Tragedy struck last December when Valentina Orellana Peralta, a 14-year-old bystander, was fatally shot by a Los Angeles police officer during a police-involved shooting at a store in North Hollywood. The California Department of Justice, after a thorough investigation, has announced that the officer will not face criminal charges for the incident, citing insufficient evidence for prosecution.

According to the state DOJ report released on Wednesday, the LAPD has been recommended to enhance its communication strategies in response to Immediate Action and Rapid Deployment scenarios. The report also suggested updating communication training bulletins to address similar situations in the future.

The fatal shooting occurred when police officers responded to a report of an active shooter at a Burlington Coat Factory, where they encountered the 24-year-old suspect, Daniel Elena Lopez, holding an object. Subsequently, an officer fired at the suspect, resulting in his death. However, a stray bullet from the officer’s weapon struck and killed Orellana Peralta, who was Christmas shopping with her mother.

Surveillance footage and audio recordings of the incident revealed that the suspect was attacking shoppers with a bike lock and did not have a gun. Orellana Peralta, hiding in a dressing room, was hit by a bullet that ricocheted off the floor and penetrated through the wall.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta expressed condolences to the victim’s family, acknowledging the tragic loss of two lives in the incident. Despite the lack of evidence supporting criminal intent by the officer involved, the state DOJ emphasized that no further action will be taken in the case.

The LAPD and the victim’s family have yet to respond to requests for comments following the announcement. The family described Orellana Peralta as an innocent victim, having immigrated to the United States with her mother just six months prior to her untimely death.

“I only want justice for my daughter,” Juan Pablo Orellana Larenas, the teen’s father, stated during a press conference, reflecting the family’s deep grief over the loss. The LAPD also expressed profound regret for the tragic outcome and conveyed heartfelt condolences to the grieving family.