Parents of teenager killed by LAPD gunfire in Burlington locker room speak out


A 14-year-old girl died needlessly from “collateral damage” in a police shootout last week and breathed her last while in the arms of her grieving mother, the family and their relatives said on Tuesday. lawyers.

Heartbroken relatives of Valentina Orellana-Peralta, who was killed Thursday while in a dressing room at a Burlington store in Los Angeles’s North Hollywood neighborhood, say they have called for police responsibility for the shooting deadly – but did not meet the exact requirements.

Valentina Orellana-Peralta.Courtesy of the Peralta family

“The family thinks things could have been done differently where Valentina wouldn’t be collateral damage,” their attorney, Ben Crump, told reporters in the shadow of the LAPD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.

Crump and the girl’s parents met with reporters just 15 miles southeast of the Burlington store, where LAPD officers clashed with an assault suspect.

A bullet fired at the man, identified by the LA County Medical Examiner-Coroner as Daniel Elena Lopez, 24, hit the girl as she and her mother were in a lodge.

Lopez and Orellana-Peralta died of a “gunshot wound to the chest,” according to an investigator at the office.

When the daughter and her mother heard the noise outside, the teenager locked the locker room door, the family said.

“We sat down and hugged and said we prayed. When something hit my daughter Valentina it threw us to the ground and she died in my arms and I couldn’t do anything, ”mother Soldead Peralta said in Spanish, according to her lawyer Erika Contreras.

“To see a son or a daughter die in your arms is one of the greatest pains and the deepest pains that a human being can imagine.”

The mother spoke with a handwritten sign hanging from her neck, “Justicia para nuestra hija Valentina”, in Spanish for “Justice for our daughter Valentina”.

The girl, who came to America from Chile with her mother, had dreams big and small: to become a robot design engineer and one day attend a Lakers game, the parents said.

The family had just ordered a skateboard for her and she arrived on Friday, Christmas Eve, a day after her death.

The girl’s father, Juan Pablo Orellana Larenas, presented this skateboard to reporters and lamented that she never got a chance to show off her moves.

“It is as if my whole heart has been ripped from my body, the pain of opening the Christmas presents that were delivered for Christmas Day cannot be articulated,” the father said, according to a translation by Crump.

“My daughter was special. She had dreams and, tragically, those dreams were overshadowed by this nightmare that keeps me awake at night.”

An LAPD spokeswoman declined to comment on the family’s statements on Tuesday.

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