LAPD Officers Accidentally Kill 14-Year-Old Girl While Shooting at Suspect

(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles police fatally shot a 14-year-old girl who was inside a clothing store dressing room Thursday as they fired at a suspect who had assaulted a woman earlier, authorities said.

According to authorities, police also shot and killed the male suspect. The girl and he have not been identified. A woman was assaulted and taken to hospital. She suffered moderate to severe injuries.

The shots were fired around 11:45 a.m. at a Burlington store — part of a chain formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory — in the North Hollywood area of the San Fernando Valley.
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Los Angeles police Capt. Stacy Spell speaks at a news conference. Spell claimed that police opened fire on the suspect after he assaulted another person.

The suspect was struck by the officers’ bullets and killed, Spell said.

According to Chief Dominic Choi, LAPD Assistant Chief Dominic Choi, one of the bullets struck the girl at 14 years old. Later, officers found her in the house.

“You can’t see into the dressing rooms and it just looks like a straight wall of drywall,” Choi said at a second news conference.

He said that investigators are still not sure if the teenager entered the dressing room prior to the violence started or if he ran into there to hide.

According to Attorney General Rob Bonta, the California Department of Justice is investigating the incident.

Choi said authorities do not yet know the man’s motive or whether he knew the woman he initially assaulted in the store.

Nicholas Prange, spokesperson for Los Angeles Fire Department said the woman sustained moderate-to-severe injuries and was taken to hospital. It wasn’t immediately known if she’d been shot but Choi said she had injuries to her head, arms and face.

A heavy-duty cable lock made of metal was found near the suspect, which police believe may have been used during that attack.

Spell stated that the woman who was injured in the assault reported was her victim. The weapon used in the assault was unknown at this time.

He stated that there had been several reports about the suspect being erratic before the incident.

Imelda Garcia stated that her sister works at the store. She was in break when she heard gunshots, and all of a sudden everyone ran. Garcia said she spoke to her sister on the phone and that she’s OK but sounded “really nervous.”

Nearly two hours after the incident, police escorted the victims out of the shop.

The shooting recalled a July 21, 2018, confrontation in which LAPD officers accidentally shot and killed a woman at a Trader Joe’s market. A gunfight broke out between officers and the suspect, according to authorities. The chase ended with him driving his car into the market.

A police bullet killed Melyda Corado, 27, the assistant store manager, as she ran toward the store’s entrance after hearing the car crash.

Authorities said that Gene Evin Atkins was the suspect who held shoppers and employees hostage for three hours, before finally surrendering to authorities.

Atkins pleaded not guilty for the murder.

Prosecutors found two police officers acted lawfully when they returned Atkins’ gunfire.


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