The father of a 14-year-old girl killed by a stray bullet near Los Angeles during a police intervention at a store on Tuesday demanded that the officers involved go “all to jail”.
“The only thing I want is justice for my daughter,” said Juan Pablo Orellana, father of Valentina Orellana-Peralta, at a press conference.
“I won’t have a rest until all these criminals are in jail, each one of them,” he said, in Spanish.
The Chilean teenager was fatally injured by a stray bullet on December 23 in a North Hollywood store where she had visited with her mother.
“We were both in a dressing room to buy clothes for Christmas. We heard screams, we sat hugging each other, praying, when something hit Valentina, ”said mother Soledad Peralta.
“She died in my arms. I couldn’t do anything, ”she sobbed.
Los Angeles police were called to the store where a man had assaulted several women, injuring one of them with a heavy bicycle lock.
On their arrival, the police had discovered in the shelves of the store a woman in blood a few meters from the suspect.
According to the on-board camera footage released to the public, one of the officers almost immediately opened fire on the suspect three times with a rifle, fatally injuring him.
Valentina and her mother were in a fitting room on the other side of a wall directly behind the shot suspect.
Police, who have opened an investigation, said the teenager was hit by a bullet that ricocheted on the floor and went through the wall of the cabin.
Valentina’s parents were flanked Tuesday by their lawyers, including Ben Crump, specializing in deaths involving police officers and who notably defended the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore apologized to the family and pledged to shed light “on the circumstances that led to this tragedy.”