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Family of teen fatally shot by police in Burlington locker room sues LAPD . at

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The family of a California teen who was fatally shot by police in a Burlington locker room has sued the Los Angeles Police Department for acting “recklessly” when he opened fire on an assault suspect at the company.

In the lawsuit, filed earlier this month in Los Angeles County Superior Court, attorneys for relatives of Valentina Orellana-Peralta, 14, also alleged that Burlington’s staff allowed the suspect in an assault that resulted in the first police call. to stay in prison. despite “increasingly violent and erratic behavior”.

“Filing this lawsuit is the first step for Soledad and Juan Pablo in seeking the transparency and justice promised them by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti after the fatal shooting of their daughter Valentina,” said family attorney Rahul. Ravipudi issued a statement Tuesday.

Valentina Orellana Peralta.Thanks to the Peralta family

“It is their deepest hope that those responsible for her death will be held accountable and that changes will be made to LAPD’s policies, practices, and standards for the use of deadly force, bringing yet another senseless tragedy. will be prevented by law enforcement,” said Ravipudi. said.

Authorities were initially called to the North Hollywood Burlington store on December 23 for a report of an attack.

William Jones, one of the officers who responded to the attack, opened fire on the suspect in the attack, Daniel Elena Lopez. The bullets pierced the wall of the dressing room where Valentina and her mother had been and killed the teenager. Lopez was also killed. According to police, Valentina and her mother were out of sight of the officers.

According to the lawsuit, Burlington’s staff allowed Lopez to stay in the store even though he became aggressive and violent towards customers, and at one point beat a customer with a bicycle lock.

“Despite there being no doubt at this time that store customers were at risk, Defendant Burlington employees did not use the intercom or otherwise advise store customers or warn the customers,” the lawsuit said.

In a statement Tuesday, Burlington said: “While we cannot comment on the pending lawsuits, the safety and well-being of our customers is of the utmost importance to us.”

The suit accused Jones of opening fire with a high-powered rifle with civilians still in the store and without warning — though Lopez was not armed or attacking anyone at the time.

Valentina had been in the dressing room with her mother trying on a dress for her quinceañera when they heard a riot outside.

“We sat down, hugged and started praying,” says her mother, Soledad Peralta. “When something hit my daughter Valentina, it threw us to the ground and she died in my arms.”

The lawsuit also accused authorities of failing to provide immediate medical care to Valentina and separating her from her mother, who was also injured.

“Plaintiff Soledad Peralta waited outside what seemed like an eternity without getting any information about her daughter’s condition and was not told that her daughter had already died,” the indictment said. “She also received no medical attention for her own injuries.”

The Los Angeles Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but in a statement obtained by the Associated PressLAPD chief Michel Moore called Valentina’s death “tragic” and said it “remains a point of sadness for us too.”

A spokesman for the city attorney’s office said his office is reviewing the lawsuit and declined to comment further.

Attempts to reach Jones, who had been placed on administrative leave after the shooting, were unsuccessful. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Protection League forwarded questions about the lawsuit to Jones’ attorney.

Police union spokesman Tom Saggau has previously said Jones was following active gunman protocols when he responded to the incident over 911 reports of a gun. No weapon was found associated with those initial reports.

“Officers need to prepare for the worst-case scenario,” Saggau said. “The worst-case scenario was a gun, shooting in a store, that’s immediately active shooting protocol.”

Saggau said Jones, who founded a nonprofit to raise money for school supplies for students, was “devastated” by the shooting.

“Many of the kids he worked with in his nonprofit were Valentina’s age,” he said. “What he struggles with is that it could be one of the kids he’s worked with.”

The investigation into the shooting by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles Police Department is still ongoing.

Diana Dasrath and Associated Press contributed.

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