The Los Angeles Police Department officer who opened fire on a suspect in a Burlington store in North Hollywood on Thursday has been placed on leave as officials investigate the shooting that reports., CBS Los Angeles
The investigation has been handed to the California Department of Justice under a new law that requires any deadly shooting at the hands of an officer — intentional or not — to be investigated by the state’s attorney general.
Police responded to the store Thursday morning after several 911 calls reported possible shots fired. They encountered a suspect who allegedly attacked a woman with a heavy-duty bike lock, leaving her head and face bloodied.
LAPD Chief of Police Michel Moore told CBS LA that one officer fired three rounds. The assault suspect, later identified as 24-year-old Daniel Elena Lopez, was shot in the chest and died at the scene.
The girl, Valentina Orellana-Peralta, was in a dressing room when one of the bullets passed through the wall and struck her in the chest, killing her. According to The Los Angeles Times, she was there trying on dresses for her quinceañera with her mother.
No gun was found on the suspect. LAPD Assistant Chief Dominic Choi said, “Preliminarily, we believe that round [that killed Orellana-Peralta] was an officer’s round.”
Moore said the LAPD was doing “everything we can to gather as much and be as transparent as possible” as the investigation proceeds.
He called for the swift release of body-cam footage, store surveillance video and recordings of all 911 calls concerning the incident by no later than Monday, a process that normally takes up to 45 days.
Moore has previously said that use of deadly force is always a last resort for LAPD officers, but at least one bystander criticized the tactics used by the officers at the store.
“They should’ve taken care of it differently. I mean, not where everybody was in danger,” Nubia Cisneros told CBS LA reporter Jasmine Viel.