Multiple people including store employees called police to report a man striking customers with a bike lock. One caller told a 911 dispatcher that the man had a gun. No firearm — only the bike lock — was recovered at the scene.
Surveillance video shows a man in a tank top and shorts carrying a bicycle up the store's escalator to the second floor, where he wanders around, seemingly disoriented, clutching a cable-style bike lock. At times he stands motionless, staring into the distance.
The footage later shows the man on the down escalator attacking a woman, who manages to escape his grip and run out of the store.
The man then left the store for a minute and a half, police said.
After he returns, according to the video, he repeatedly attacks a second woman, this time beating her with a bike lock while she cowers on the floor. As she tries to escape, he drags her through an aisle toward the dressing rooms.
Orellana-Peralta’s mother, Soledad Peralta, said they were in a dressing room shopping for Christmas clothes when they heard screaming. The teenager locked the door and they prayed together.
In bodycam video, a group of armed officers enters the store and approaches the suspect. One holds a rifle and pushes to the front of the pack as the officers go through the store in formation.
Other officers repeatedly say “slow down” and “slow it down” as the officer with the rifle moves forward.
“She’s bleeding!” an officer shouts as they encounter the woman who has been beaten crawling on the blood-stained floor. The suspect is on the other side of the aisle.
“Hold up! Hold up!” another officer screams just before three shots ring out.
The officer holding the rifle fired, police said.
The 24-year-old suspect, Daniel Elena Lopez, died at the scene. Soledad Peralta's screams can be heard in the video.
"At this preliminary phase of the investigation, it is believed that the victim was struck by one of the rounds fired by an officer at the suspect," police Capt. Stacy Spell said in the posted video. Police believe the bullet skipped off the floor and pierced the dressing room wall.
Investigation could take a year or longer
The investigation is just beginning and could take up to a year or more to complete, Spell said. The California Department of Justice is also investigating.
"We at the LAPD would like to express our most heartfelt condolences and profound regret for the loss of this innocent victim, Valentina Orellana-Peralta. There are no words that can describe the depth of the sorrow we feel at this tragic outcome," Spell said in the video.
LAPD officers have shot people 38 people — 18 of them fatally, including the shooting Sunday of a man with a knife — in 2021, according to The Los Angeles Times.
One of the family's attorneys, Crump, said Tuesday, "We should not have to sacrifice innocent life in the name of safety when it was foreseeable that two days before Christmas that there were going to be people in a shopping plaza, shopping. The family thinks things could have been done differently so that Valentina wouldn't have been collateral damage."