Valentina Orellana-Peralta was hit as police opened fire on a man suspected of assaulting a woman at the department store, in the 12100 block of Victory Boulevard. That man was identified by the Coroner’s Office Friday as Daniel Elena Lopez, 24.
The girl was in a changing room with her mother when she was fatally shot, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a Friday, Dec. 24, press release. The wall of the changing room was directly behind the suspect and, the LAPD said, it appears she was shot by an officer.
Police found her while searching for additional suspects and victims, the LAPD said.
“This chaotic incident resulting in the death of an innocent child is tragic and devastating for everyone involved,” police Chief Michael Moore said in a statement. “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.”
The 911 calls, body-worn camera footage and other evidence will be released by Monday, Moore said.
Officers had rushed to the area of Victory Boulevard and Laurel Canyon Boulevard about 11:45 a.m. after receiving reports of a shooting in progress, Capt. Stacy Spell said.
As police were en route to the store, he said, they received additional calls reporting an active shooter, with descriptions of people sheltering.
When they arrived, the LAPD’s Friday statement said, they found a woman who was injured and bleeding.
Not far away, officers encountered the suspect and opened fire.
An LAPD Family Liaison is working closely with the Mayor’s Crisis Response Team and Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez to provide assistance to the 14-year-old girl’s family, department officials said.
A Burlington spokesperson said the store remained closed Friday, adding the company’s “hearts are heavy as a result of the tragic incident.”
“Our top priority is always the safety and well-being of our customers and associates,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “This is an ongoing investigation and we are supporting authorities.”
The California Department of Justice will independently investigate and review the shooting, state Attorney General Rob Bonta has announced.
At least two Los Angeles mayoral candidates have commented on the shooting.
“As a father, my heart breaks over Valentina Orellana-Peralta,” Councilman Kevin De Leon tweeted Friday. “A daughter of LA, killed by someone tasked with keeping her safe. When something like this happens, it’s on us as city leaders to take ownership — and take responsibility for changing the course of history.
“We owe it to Valentina’s family to hear the results of the city and state investigations, make the necessary changes and make sure we never lose another Angeleno this way.”
Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, tweeted late Thursday night that “It is an absolute tragedy that there will be an empty seat at this 14-year-old child’s family table in two days. Everyone in this city deserves to be safe.
“I’m glad there will be an investigation and await further information regarding what happened today.”
Staff Writer Scott Schwebke and City News Service contributed to this report.