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LAPD Officer Won’t Face Criminal Charges in Killing of 14-year-old Girl At Store During Police Confrontation with Suspect

(CNN) — A Los Angeles Police Department officer (William Jones Jr.) will not face criminal charges in the 2021 fatal shooting of a 14-year-old girl killed inside a department store when police fired at a man suspected of attacking a woman, California prosecutors said Wednesday.

Valentina Orellana-Peralta and her mother were holding one another and praying in the dressing room of the Burlington Coat Factory in North Hollywood, California, after a man began attacking customers in the store on December 23, 2021, police previously said.

When police arrived and confronted the suspect with gunfire, an officer’s bullet pierced through the wall and fatally struck Valentina, who was pronounced dead on scene.

Police also fatally shot 24-year-old suspect Daniel Elena-Lopez.

The California Department of Justice released a report Wednesday detailing the findings of its investigation into the shooting, which determined that no criminal charges will be filed against (Officer Jones) who killed the teenager.

“We conclude that no criminal charges will be filed because the evidence is insufficient to prove that [the officer] committed a crime,” the California Department of Justice said in its investigative report.

Greg Meyer, a law enforcement expert who reviewed the case, concluded that there was not enough time for the officer “or any other officer to attempt de-escalation tactics in this situation,” according to the report. Meyer noted Valentina’s fatal shooting “was a tragic but unforeseeable accident,” according to the report.

“Due to pending civil litigation, the Los Angeles Police Department cannot comment on this matter,” Drake Madison, an LAPD officer, said Thursday.

“This case was a particularly challenging one to process as this involved the loss of two lives,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. “Any loss of life is a tragedy, and my heart goes out, especially to the family of Valentina Orellana Peralta, who tragically lost her life and whose only involvement in this incident was by being at the wrong place at the wrong time.”


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