Posted For: MugsMalone
Los Angeles police officer passionate about improving the relationship between law enforcement and the children in his community has been left “shattered” by the death of a 14-year-old girl, who he mistakenly shot inside a Burlington Coat Factory just ahead of the holidays.
Valentina Orellana-Peralta was trying on Christmas dresses when gunfire erupted inside the North Hollywood store on Dec. 23. The shots were fired by Officer William Jones, who was formally identified by his lawyer in the New York Times on Thursday. He was responding at the time to reports of a man swinging bike locks at women, leaving a least one of them bloody.
Los Angeles police Officer William Dorsey Jones Jr.
Surveillance footage and body-cam video released by authorities show an officer firing three shots in the direction of suspect Daniel Elena-Lopez. Police believe one bullet fatally struck 24-year-old Elena-Lopez while the other pierced through the dressing room wall and hit Orellana-Peralta.
The teen was pronounced dead on the scene.
A woman wipes her eye as police officers investigate the scene where two people were struck by gunfire in a shooting at a Burlington store as part of a chain formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory in North Hollywood, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/)
“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, told The Mercury News. “He’s just shattered.”
Wilcox added that Jones “was acting the way he was trained” and that it’s been “hard for him to see it as it is being portrayed.”
The California Department of Justice is investigating the shooting inside the Burlington Coat Factory.