Police Open Fire On Assault Suspect In LA Clothing Store And Kill 14-Year-Old Girl In The Crossfire
A 14-year-old has tragically been killed after being shot in a Los Angeles clothing shop dressing room after police opened fire on an assault suspect.
Police attended the Burlington shop in the North Hollywood area of San Fernando Valley to reports of a man acting erratically and threatening to throw items from the upper floor.
Reports state that the suspect also attacked a woman with a bicycle lock whilst the shop was packed full of Christmas shoppers.
Officers arrived at the scene and shot and killed the suspect, but one of the bullets went through a wall behind the man and killed the 14-year-old girl, who has been named as Valentina Orellana-Peralta.
Los Angeles Police Department assistant chief Dominic Choi said that officers had found the girl dead after noticing a hole in "a solid wall that you can't see behind."
Authorities have said that they are unsure as to whether the girl was in the dressing room before the incident occurred or if she had run inside there to hide.
Police Chief Michel Moore said in a statement, "This chaotic incident resulting in the death of an innocent child is tragic and devastating for everyone involved,"
"I am profoundly sorry for the loss of this young girl's life and I know there are no words that can relieve the unimaginable pain for the family."
Mr Moore promised a "thorough, complete and transparent investigation" into the shooting and said a critical incident video including 911 calls, body camera, and other video footage will be released by Monday.
Local news reports showed a woman who was believed to be the assault victim being put into an ambulance with a bloodied face.
The victim was taken to hospital with moderate to serious injuries, Fire Department spokesperson Nicholas Prange said. Mr Choi said she had wounds to her head, arms, and face.
The name of the suspect who was shot and killed has not yet been released and the woman who was the victim of the attack is not being identified.
Investigators are trying to ascertain if the attack was targeted or simply random.
Mr Choi said they do not believe the teenager was related to the person who was attacked or involved in the incident in any way.
This is an ongoing incident and we will update you further when more information is released.