UPDATED 11:52 AM PT – Wednesday, December 29, 2021
The parents of a teenage girl killed by an alleged Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer’s stray bullet tearfully recounted the tragic incident. In a press conference in Los Angeles Tuesday, the family of 14-year-old Valentina Orellana Peralta said they are devastated by her death.
Valentina was killed last Thursday after allegedly being shot by a stray bullet fired by police officers in a Burlington Coat Factory store while the officers were shooting at an armed suspect. The girls father, Juan Pablo Orellana, said he cannot put into words the loss of his only biological daughter.
“When my wife Soledad, Valentina’s mother, told me that she had been shot and killed by an officer from LAPD at the shopping plaza..it is like my whole heart has been ripped out of my body,” he stated. “I don’t have words to describe what I’m feeling.”
During the press conference, the father held up an unopened skateboard that was meant to be gifted to the teenager on Christmas, but would tragically not make it onto the hands of Valentina.
“It arrived the day after they killed her…this was for her to go skating throughout her school campus,” Juan explained. “Now we will bring it to her grave so she can skate among the angels.”
The 14-year-old girl came to Los Angeles from her native Chile earlier this year while dreaming of becoming an engineer and American citizen, unfortunately her life was unexpectedly cut short.
The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, emphasized how the tragic incident has severely affected Valentina’s parents, especially since it occurred just days before Christmas and the New Year.
“Mr. Juan Pablo is still trying to figure out how to get a decent night’s sleep, he hasn’t slept since his only biological child was killed,” Crump noted. “Her mother continues to talk about being pulled away, leaving her daughter lying there alone.”
The attorney has called for justice for the teenage girl and said somebody needs to be held accountable for her tragic death.
“There are so many questions that they want answered,” he stated. “And hopefully, we can get all these answers together because Valentina’s life matters.”
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Department said they have placed the officer who fired the shot on administrative leave pending an investigation.