14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta was with her mother in a clothes shop on 23 December when an officer opened fire on a suspect. The bullet pierced a wall and hit her. She died in her mother’s arms.
In a statement read by a lawyer, Mrs Peralta recounted how she and her daughter heard a commotion and screaming outside the changing room at the North Hollywood department store where they were trying on dresses for a birthday party. They sat down and hugged each other and prayed.
Mrs. Peralta said she felt something hit her daughter, throwing them both to the ground. She said Valentina’s body then “went limp” and she “tried to wake her up by shaking her, but she didn’t wake up”. She screamed for help, but no one came.
“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 laying there alone.”
Mrs. Peralta said seeing a son or daughter die in your arms is one of the “most profound pains any human being can imagine”.
LA Police Chief Michel Moore has promised a “thorough, complete and transparent investigation” into the incident.