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The parents of Valentina Orellana Peralta, a 14-year-old girl who was shot and killed by police in a clothing store last year, are now suing the Los Angeles Police Department.
The deadly encounter took place at a Burlington store in North Hollywood, California, on Dec. 23, 2021. At the time, cops were responding to a disturbance at the store, when Officer William Dorsey Jones Jr., fired three shots, one of which went through the wall of the dressing room the girl and her mother were in.
Soledad Peralta “felt her daughter’s body go limp and watched helplessly as her daughter died while still in her arms,” the lawsuit states.
Officers then told the mother to exit the dressing room, at which point she waited for “what seemed like an eternity.” Meanwhile, no one even told her that Valentina was dead.
LOS ANGELES CLOTHING STORE SHOOTOUT LEAVES SUSPECT AND TEEN GIRL DEAD, POLICE SAY
Police were at the store in response to a 911 about another individual, Daniel Elena Lopez, who attacked two women. Officers entered, and Jones pushed to the front of the group, even though others repeatedly said to “slow down.”
Bodycam footage showed that cops saw a woman crawling on the floor, with Lopez on the other side of the aisle. One officer yelled, “Hold up! Hold up!” right before Jones fired three times, resulting in the girl’s death.
Lopez was also shot and killed at the scene.
The lawsuit, brought by parents Soledad Peralta and Juan Pablo Orellana Larenas, was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, names the LAPD, Jones, the city of Los Angeles, and Burlington Stores Inc. as defendants.
Burlington said in a statement that “our customers’ safety and well-being is of paramount importance to us” but did not comment on the litigation.
LAPD RELEASES VIDEO OF MOMENTS LEADING UP TO FATAL SHOOTING OF SUSPECT, GIRL, 14, AT BURLINGTON STORE
The complaint claims that the LAPD is responsible because they allegedly “fostered an environment that allowed and permitted this shooting to occur,” by not properly training and supervising the officers involved.
“Filing this lawsuit is the first step for Soledad and Juan Pablo in seeking the transparency and justice promised to them by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti following the fatal shooting of their daughter, Valentina,” the family’s lawyer, Rahul Ravipudi, said in a statement. “It is their deepest hope that those responsible for her death will be held accountable and that changes will be made to LAPD policies, practices, and standards for using deadly force that will prevent yet another senseless tragedy at the hands of law enforcement.”
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On Tuesday, LAPD Chief Michael Moore called the incident “a point of grief” for the department.
“The loss of her life is tragic,” he said.