The Los Angeles Police have released a compilation of videos of a chaotic shooting in which Valentina Orellana-Peralta, 14, of Santiago de Chile, died last Thursday. He had been in the United States for about six months with his mother. The images from the surveillance cameras and the body cameras of the agents, which were released this Monday, show the police firing their rifles at a suspect who did not carry firearms, but who had brutally attacked several clients, especially a woman, with a bicycle chain in the Burlington shopping center in the North Hollywood neighborhood of the Californian city.
A few meters from the victim, and at the end of a corridor, as shown in the video, the attacker tried to avoid the police, who yelled at him to surrender before shooting three times. One of the bullets fatally wounded the attacker, identified as Daniel Elena-López, 24 years old. Another shot went through the wall of the dressing room where Valentina Orellana-Peralta had taken refuge with her mother. The minor, who was at the store buying clothes, died of a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the forensic report.
Soledad Peralta, mother of the deceased young woman, said Tuesday at a press conference outside the Los Angeles Police Department that her daughter closed the dressing room door when they heard the shots. “We sat on a seat, hugging, praying, when something hit my daughter Valentina and threw us to the ground,” said Peralta: “She died in my arms. I couldn’t do anything, “he added.
Attorneys for the Orellana-Peralta family, including famous civil rights attorney Ben Crump – a representative of George Floyd’s family following his murder at the hands of the police – sent a letter to the Los Angeles Police Department requesting the publication of more videos. In the first images from the surveillance cameras, the suspect is seen riding a bicycle up the escalators of the shopping center to the second floor, where he was wandering with a bicycle lock. In the store where the incident occurred, he repeatedly hit a woman with the padlock while she was trying to escape. The assailant dragged her down the hall toward the fitting rooms.
A group of police officers entered the store after receiving several alert calls. “I have a hostile customer in my store who attacks customers!” a store clerk said in a 911 call. Agents approached the suspect ordering him to calm down. While walking through the store, they found the woman beaten bloodied on the floor. The officers yelled twice at the man to stop and a policeman armed with a rifle shot him three times.
“In this preliminary phase of the investigation, it is believed that the victim [Valentina Orellana-Peralta] she was hit by one of the bullets fired by an officer at the suspect, ”said Police Captain Stacy Spell. Police believe the bullet that hit the young woman ricocheted off the floor and went through the fitting room wall. Los Angeles Police Department officers have shot and killed 18 people so far this year, according to a record of Los Angeles Times, more than double that of 2020.
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Juan Pablo Orellana Larenas, the victim’s father, flew from Chile after the death of his daughter. According to him at the press conference, he had already bought tickets to move to the United States when he heard the news. Orellana showed a new skateboard, still in its plastic wrap, that her daughter had ordered online. The family plans to leave the skateboard at her grave “so she can skate with the angels,” her father said.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.