Watch CBS News

Parents Of Valentina Orellana-Peralta, 14-Year-Old Killed In LAPD Shooting, Demand Justice

NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — The parents of 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta held a press conference Tuesday morning calling for full transparency from the LAPD after their daughter was killed by a stray bullet fired by Los Angeles police inside a Burlington store in North Hollywood.

Valentina Orellana-Peralta
Valentina Orellana-Peralta (Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP)

Valentina was inside the store with her mother on Thursday when she was struck by a police bullet that passed through the wall of a dressing room.

According to attorneys, the girl died in her mother's arms.

Her mother, Soledad Peralta, and father, Juan Pablo Orellana Larenas, held a news conference outside LAPD headquarters with their attorneys Tuesday morning to express "the family's demand for transparency" from the agency, and to discuss "the latest developments in the matter as they move forward in seeking justice for Valentina and her family."

Peralta recounted being with her daughter at the time of the shooting saying while in the dressing room, she and Valentina heard a commotion before hugging each other and praying for peace and safety.

"All of a sudden we felt an explosion that pulled us both to the ground...I had no idea she had been shot. Her body went limp. I tried shaking her but her body went limp," Peralta said.

"As I lay screaming for help, the police did not come to help me or my daughter, but I kept screaming,"  she said. "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 lying there alone."

"Valentina meant the world to her family, her friends and her schoolmates," she said.

Valentina's father said his daughter had dreams of becoming an American citizen. He says he will not rest until justice for his daughter is served.

On Monday night, body cam video was released of the fatal shooting.

The LAPD released the video – four days after the confrontation – in which they say they got a 911 call of shots fired inside the store.

The security video began with suspect 24-year-old Daniel Elena Lopez, who had an extensive criminal record, shown inside the store swinging a bike lock at customers and repeatedly violently attacking multiple women.

At one point, he shoved someone down an elevator and took off his pants. Later, he dragged a woman to the floor, violently beating her with the bike lock until she was covered in blood and badly hurt.

At about the same time – the LAPD body cam video showed officers arriving at the Burlington store, at 12121 Victory Blvd, where they found the female victim on the ground. Lopez was several feet away from her when an officer fired three shots at him. He was later pronounced dead.

The LAPD says one of the officer's bullets ricocheted off the floor and into a wall before striking and killing Valentina.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore, who was out of town with family but briefed on the shooting, said in a statement over the holiday weekend: "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," Moore said. "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," the chief added.

On Tuesday morning, a memorial for Valentia continued to grow outside of the store.

Valentina's parents have hired an attorney, who says the family wants justice and transparency from the police. Their attorneys sent a letter to the LAPD Monday, asking the agency to preserve "any and all video footage" from the shooting.

The officer who fired the shot that killed the teen was placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing, police said Friday.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.