- Valentina Orellana-Peralta, 14, the target of a Los Angeles police bullet
- Parents from Chile pleading for justice for their daughter in front of the police department
- The police officer shooting at another person in the store missed the target, Valentina was shot
Valentina Orellana-Peralta, a 14-year-old innocent girl who moved from her hometown Chile to Los Angeles earlier this year. His dream was to become an American citizen and an engineer. She wanted to see LeBron James playing basketball with her own eyes. But two days before Christmas, all his dreams ended with him. A Los Angeles police officer opened fire on a man inside a department store, killing 14-year-old Valentina.
With tears in their eyes, Orellana-Peralta’s parents and their lawyers gathered outside LAPD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday morning. She shared the stories of her daughter who passed away this year without opening her Christmas present. Valentina’s father said in Spanish, ‘I feel as if someone has taken my heart out of my body.’
Had a plan to travel with father on new year
He has come from Chile this week after hearing the news of his daughter’s death. Valentina’s father had a skateboard in one hand that was still in plastic wrapping. It was this year’s Christmas gift from Valentina. He said that he would put this skateboard and other gifts on Valentina’s grave. The day before his death, Valentina spoke to her father on the phone. He told them that he was very keen on Maths and Physics exams. She was going to visit her father on New Year’s Eve.
Police released the video of the incident
The police department had released the video footage of the incident last Thursday. It can be seen that an officer was firing at another person at a Burlington Coat Factory store in North Hollywood. But the bullet hit Valentina and she died. Valentina’s parents pleaded for justice in front of dozens of cameras outside the LAPD. Valentina was murdered when she was buying a Christmas dress for her mother.
This year 18 people became the target of LA police bullets
Police said the officer’s bullet hit the floor and went into the dressing room of the store. Officials investigating the death have ruled it a murder and said Valentina was shot in the chest. Valentina died on the spot after being shot. The man who died from the officer’s bullet was Daniel Elena Lopez who attacked several customers. He had attacked several customers with the lock of the bike after which the police killed him.
According to the police department, the accused officers are currently on leave and their identity has not been revealed. The Los Angeles Police Department’s number of homicides has risen sharply this year. The department has shot 18 people in 2021, compared to seven in 2020, the LA Times reports.