Skip to content
Search AI Powered

Latest Stories

Family Of 14-Year-Old Girl Killed By LAPD Cop Who Shot At Fleeing Suspect Demands Justice

Family Of 14-Year-Old Girl Killed By LAPD Cop Who Shot At Fleeing Suspect Demands Justice
Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Warning: The videos in this article contain graphic and violent footage.

The family of Valentina Orellana Peralta–the 14-year-old girl who was killed by a stray bullet at a Burlington Coat Factory in North Hollywood, California–are demanding justice.

Valentina, who was shopping with her mother the day before Christmas Eve, was trying on clothes in the dressing room when chaos unfolded inside the store due to a male suspect who was attacking customers with what appeared to be a bicycle chain and lock.

The young girl was struck by a stray bullet fired from one of the police officers who shot and killed the suspect who did not brandish a firearm.

You can watch a news report of the incident, here.

The fatally-shot suspect–who was identified by police as 24-year-old Daniel Elena Lopez–had entered the store with his bike and started attacking other customers, unprovoked.

Witnesses and employees called 911.

Transcripts from the calls, as well as edited surveillance and body camera footage, can be seen in this 35-minute video.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) claimed the responding officers believed Elena Lopez was carrying a gun based on the chaos and confusion from shoppers fleeing the scene.

Bodycam footage showed an officer shooting at Elena Lopez and taking him down after the suspect had attacked an unnamed female customer.

In the process, one of the fired bullets pierced through the wall of the dressing room where Valentina and her mother, Soledad Peralta, were seeking shelter from the pandemonium.

The young teenager was struck and died in the arms of her mother, whose screams could be heard in the bodycam footage after the shooting ceased.

The grieving mother recounted the tragic event during a press conference on Tuesday.

"We heard some screams and sat down and hugged and started crying," she said in her statement that was translated from Spanish to English.

They were reacting to the confrontation they heard outside the dressing room inside the store.

“Valentina went to lock the door to protect us. We started hugging each other tighter."
"We were praying. I was praying for her, and I believe she was praying for me."

She continued to describe what no mother should ever have to witness.

"I saw white powder coming out of Valentina's body and she began to go through convulsions. Her body went limp. I tried to wake her up by shaking her."

She added:

"She died in my arms and there was nothing I could do. To see a son or daughter die in your arms is one of the greatest and most profound pains that any human being can imagine."
"When the police finally came, they took me out of the dressing room and left my daughter laying there. I wanted them to help her, but they just left her laying there alone."

On Thursday night, Police Chief Michel Moore said in a statement:

“This chaotic incident resulting in the death of an innocent child is tragic and devastating for everyone involved."
“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."

Valentina's aunt, Carolina Peralta, told the Los Angeles Times that her sister and niece came to California from Chile six months ago after initially visiting Valentina's sister, who was working at a restaurant.

The mother and daughter's visit turned into a longer stay, and they had begun the immigration process to live in the country permanently.

"Valentina was a shy girl in Chile, but everything was turning out well for her in the US," said Carolina Peralta.

"She was catching up with English and being more outgoing. She was happy to be with her older sister."

Carolina said of her sister who had just lost her daughter:

"[Soledad] does not understand how this tragedy could have happened just when they had managed to reunite the family."

During Tuesday's press conference, lawyers for the Peralta family did not announce any legal proceedings but said they were considering options–including a possible civil lawsuit.

"We want justice for our angel. Our precious little angel, Valentina," said Soledad.

Ben Crump, who is one of the attorneys representing the Peralta family, said:

“They can never get Valentina back. What they want Valentina’s legacy to be is that no one will ever be killed like this in this manner.”

More from News

shocked woman
Olivia Hutcherson on Unsplash

People Break Down The Most Brutal Insults They've Ever Heard

Let's be honest, it doesn't take any talent to insult someone.

After all, by the time children learn to speak in complete sentences, they're hurling sophisticated comebacks like:

Keep ReadingShow less
Dubai Princess Publicly Demands 'Divorce' From Cheating Royal Husband In Blunt Instagram Post

Dubai Princess Publicly Demands 'Divorce' From Cheating Royal Husband In Blunt Instagram Post

In an unexpected move, Her Highness Sheikha Mahra bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Dubai princess, addressed her husband's infidelity on Instagram, declaring their divorce.

Sheikha Mahra, who is daughter of the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, wrote a scathing and short message to her husband.

Keep ReadingShow less
TikTok screenshot of Jodi Benson watching daughter sing; Ariel from the 1989 'The Little Mermaid'
@coolzjay/TikTok; Disney

'Little Mermaid' Star Jodi Benson Tears Up Watching Daughter Sing 'Part Of Your World' On Stage

A clip of the original voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson, watching her daughter Delaney play the lead role in a stage production of The Little Mermaid has gone viral, and Benson revealed she was moved to tears by the performance.

Posted to TikTok, the video has already garnered more than 4.2 million views in only a few days, and people on the platform said they got a bit emotional, as well.

Keep ReadingShow less
Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale's Custom Swimsuit Sends Blunt Message To Her Haters Online

British actor Kate Beckinsale has no time for trolls criticizing her looks.

Instead of addressing haters' unsolicited assessments of her online, the 50-year-old actor came for them with a fierce fashion statement that said it all.

Keep ReadingShow less
Kit Connor
Karwai Tang/WireImage/GettyImages

Kit Connor Is Rumored To Be Top Choice For Gay MCU Superhero—And 'Heartstopper' Fans Are So Into It

Fans of Heartstopper were absolutely chuffed and crossing their fingers after hearing rumors that British actor Kit Connor was being considered to play a known LGBTQ+ superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The 20-year-old has been acting since he was just 8 in numerous TV and film projects, including roles in the 2018 films The Mercy, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. He also portrayed a teenaged Elton John in 2019's Rocketman and voiced Pantalaimon in the HBO fantasy series His Dark Materials.

Keep ReadingShow less