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Authorities Identify 14-Year-Old Girl, Suspect Killed In NoHo Shooting On Thursday

NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) - The identity of the 14-year-old girl who was tragically shot and killed by a stray bullet fired by a Los Angeles Police Department officer at a Burlington store in North Hollywood on December 23 was announced by officials on Friday. They also announced the identity of the suspect who initiated the turn of events.

Valentina Orellana-Peralta was in one of the dressing rooms at a Burlington store on Thursday, when a stray bullet that was fired towards an assault suspect passed through the wall and struck her.

According to The Los Angeles Times, she was trying on dresses for her quinceañera with her mother.

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A police report filed by the LAPD declared that the assault suspect was approached by security within the Burlington store when he began to exhibit unruly behavior, including attacking another customer and breaking a store window - using a heavy duty bike lock.

Authorities who responded to the 9-1-1 calls of gunshots on the scene approached the suspect as he was attacking the customer, and an officer-involved-shooting ensued. The suspect was shot, and was pronounced dead on the scene shortly after while being evaluated by paramedics.

Thus far in the investigation,  have been unable to locate a handgun at the scene. They have however taken the bike lock used as a weapon into custody.

Later Friday evening, they identified the assault suspect as 24-year-old Daniel Elena Lopez. Authorities denied a full release of Lopez's criminal history, something they referred to as extensive, due to the ongoing nature of the investigation. However, The Los Angeles Times reported that Elena Lopez has convictions for car theft, carrying a loaded gun in public and carrying a gun as a felon. They also found that he has been convicted of domestic battery and recklessly evading police in a vehicle. He had spent at least two years in state prison.

Lopez was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest.

LAPD Chief of Police Michel Moore spoke with CBSLA reporters on Friday and disclosed that one officer fired three rounds, one of which struck Orellana-Peralta.

In that same interview, Moore said that the goal of their investigation is to be as efficient as possible.

"Just 24 hours after this, we're doing everything we can to gather as much and be as transparent as possible," Moore said.

He called for the immediate release of body cam footage, store surveillance footage and recordings of all 9-1-1 calls concerning the incident by no later than Monday, a process that normally takes up to 45 days.

More than one of the 9-1-1 calls indicated that a shooting was in progress in the store, even before officers arrived on scene.

In response to the incident, Moore issued a statement on Thursday evening, which stated:

"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.  My commitment is to conduct a thorough, complete and transparent investigation into the circumstances that led up to this tragedy and provide the family and public with as much information as possible.  I have directed the release of the critical incident video by Monday, December 27th, which will include the 9-1-1 calls, radio transmissions, body worn video and any CCTV and other evidence gathered at this preliminary stage."

A series of investigations have been launched by different law enforcement agencies following the incident. Especially after Moore has previously indicated that use of deadly force is always a last resort for LAPD officers.

One bystander was critical of the tactics deployed by the officers.

"They should've taken care of it differently. I mean, not where everybody was in danger," Nubia Cisneros told CBSLA Reporter Jasmine Viel.

The investigation has been given to the California Department of Justice as part of a new law that requires any deadly shooting at the hands of an officer - intentional or not - must be investigated by the state's Attorney General.

The officer who fired the rounds was placed on paid administrative leave as the investigation is underway.

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