LAPD officer who fatally shot 14-year-old 'shattered' after incident, attorney says

LAPD Officer William Jones created a nonprofit in 2020 to strengthen relationships between police and children

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The LAPD officer who fatally shot a 14-year-old by accident in a tragic mistake on Dec. 26 feels "shattered" after the incident, according to a local report.

William Jones, an officer who created a nonprofit in 2020 to strengthen relationships between police and children, fired at a suspect who allegedly attacked several people in a North Hollywood Burlington Coat Factory store last week and ended up fatally striking a 14-year-old girl.

Los Angeles police body-camera footage shows the moments just before an officer fired on Daniel Lopez, 24, inside a Burlington Coat Factory last week. 

Los Angeles police body-camera footage shows the moments just before an officer fired on Daniel Lopez, 24, inside a Burlington Coat Factory last week.  (LAPD)

The girl, whom the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office identified on Friday as Valentina Orellana-Peralta, was inside the store changing room with her mother when the police bullet penetrated a dressing room wall and struck her. She was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

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"This is something he says that he will be living with every day for the rest of his life. He is trying to figure out a process to keep moving forward when he knows her family can’t," Jones' attorney, Leslie Wilcox of Long Beach, told The Mercury News. "He’s just shattered."

Jones is "truly devastated at the results of the officer-involved shooting, as heartbroken a man as you can imagine," Wilcox said, adding that Jones "was acting the way he was trained to do" and that it has been "hard for him to see it as it is being portrayed."

Authorities believe a round that Jones fired at the suspect, 24-year-old Daniel Elena Lopez, ricocheted off the floor and went through the dressing room wall, striking Orellana-Peralta. Officers also killed Lopez, a Los Angeles resident. Both were struck in the chest, online coroner records said. 

Valentina Orellana-Peralta; little girl shot in LA while trying on dress in Burlington

Valentina Orellana-Peralta; little girl shot in LA while trying on dress in Burlington (Family handout)

Rahul Ravipudi, the attorney representing Orellana-Peralta's mother and sister, told the outlet that while the incident is "heartbreaking," he believes "it sounds like [Jones] is certainly not taking accountability or responsibility."

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Jones was part of both the pro-police group Thin Blue Line and Black Lives Matter, according to The Mercury News, which reviewed the officer's old tweets.

"I’m a black man. I’m the father of a black son. I’ve been the victim of racism. I am the LAPD. I have the power and determination to affect CHANGE in the community," Jones said in one tweet.

Valentina Orellana-Peralta; little girl shot in LA while trying on dress in Burlington

Valentina Orellana-Peralta; little girl shot in LA while trying on dress in Burlington (Family handout)

LAPD Chief Police Chief Michel Moore called the incident "chaotic" and "tragic" in a Dec. 23 statement.

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"I am profoundly sorry for the loss of this young girl’s life and I know there are no words that can relieve the unimaginable pain for the family," Moore said. "My commitment is to conduct a thorough, complete and transparent investigation into the circumstances that led up to this tragedy and provide the family and public with as much information as possible."

The California Department of Justice is investigating the deadly shooting at the retail store. 

Fox News' Louis Casiano contributed to this report.