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Funeral held for teen killed by police in dressing room


(LOS ANGELES) — A funeral service was held on Monday for a 14-year-old girl who was killed during a Los Angeles police-involved shooting at a clothing store.

Valentina Orellana-Peralta was Christmas shopping with her mother at a North Hollywood Burlington Coat Factory store on Dec. 23, 2021, when police responded to multiple 911 calls reporting a suspect who was allegedly assaulting customers.

The 911 dispatch audio, surveillance video and body camera footage released by the LAPD show the graphic video of 24-year-old suspect, Daniel Elena Lopez, attacking female shoppers inside the store. Video evidence showed one woman being beaten while other customers were seen evacuating. Upon arrival, police opened fire on Lopez and he was later pronounced dead at the scene.

According to a video statement released by the LAPD, it is believed Orellana-Peralta was struck by a stray bullet, which skipped off the floor and entered though the wall of the dressing room she was in.

“We at the LAPD would like to express our most heartfelt condolences and profound regret for the loss of this innocent victim, Valentina Oriana Peralta. there are no words that can describe the depth of the sorrow we feel for this tragic outcome,” Stacy Spell, commanding officer of the Media Relations Division of the LAPD, said in a video statement.

At the funeral, mourners gather to honor Orellana-Peralta’s life. The young teen came to the United States with her mother just six months before her death. Her parents told reporters she had dreams of becoming an American citizen and a robotics engineer.

“We pray for peace and justice for this innocent blood spilled,” said Benjamin Crump, who is the attorney representing the slain 14-year-old girl’s family.

Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy at the funeral service, calling out the LAPD’s long history of injustice against people of color.

“Thirty-one years ago, I came to Los Angeles because the LAPD beat a man on the highway. His name was Rodney King,” said Sharpton. “And here we are again. How long will it take for you to get it right,” Sharpton said, calling for police reform and demanding a full investigation of the fatal shooting incident.

The LAPD and the California Department of Justice are conducting their own separate investigations into the shooting incident.

The officer who open fire has been placed on administrative leave until the police department reaches a conclusion in its investigation.

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