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LAPD officer who killed 14-year-old girl at North Hollywood store in Burlington will not face criminal charges – Daily Bulletin

LAPD officer who killed 14-year-old girl at North Hollywood store in Burlington will not face criminal charges – Daily Bulletin

 


No criminal charges will be filed against the Los Angeles police officer who fired a rifle into a North Hollywood Burlington store in 2021, killing both a man armed with a bicycle lock and a 14-year-old girl who was cowering with his mother, out of sight, in a dressing room.

A California Department of Justice report released Wednesday (April 17) found no evidence that Officer William Dorsey Jones, Jr. “acted without the intent to defend himself or others from what he reasonably believed being imminent death or serious bodily injury” when he fired a service rifle at Daniel Elena Lopez, 24, who was standing at the other end of a merchandise aisle from him.

Lopez had just swung a bike lock at a woman, bloodying her head and sending her scrambling to get away from him when Jones rounded the corner into the alley.

Jones fired three shots at Lopez, hitting him once, while other officers behind Jones can be heard telling him to slow down and “wait.” Video of the incident shows Jones did not order Lopez to surrender before shooting.

One of those shots, according to an analysis of the bullet's trajectory in the DOJ report, hit the ground behind Lopez and jumped upward, piercing the exterior wall of the locker room where 14-year-old Valentina Orellana Peralta was hiding . The bullet hit Orellana Peralta in the chest and killed her.

While the DOJ criticized the tactics and poor communication of the LAPD officers who went to the store that day, the agency said there was no evidence that Jones' actions were criminal.

“A prosecuting agency would not be able to establish that Officer Jones unreasonably determined that deadly force was necessary to protect himself or others, or that he did not actually hold that view.” , the DOJ said. “Accordingly, the evidence reviewed does not support the assertion that the shooting of Mr. Lopez violated any criminal law.”

The LAPD released video of the shooting, piecing together footage from security cameras inside the store as well as body-worn camera footage from several of the officers who responded to the store on December 23, 2021. The video showed Jones arriving last among a group of officers hatching a plan to search the store for Lopez.

According to the DOJ's 67-page report on the shooting, all officers who arrived at the store believed there may have been an active shooter on the loose inside.

The report shows that several radio calls from dispatchers were heard by responding officers and contained conflicting information — dispatchers initially reported that Lopez was hitting displays and people inside the store with the lock. But within minutes, the calls changed quickly, reporting that there was shooting inside the store.

A police officer who arrived outside the store spoke to an employee, who told him that Lopez was armed only with the bike lock. Regardless, the officers approached the store in a “diamond formation” – a tactic officers use when dealing with an active shooter situation.

Yet the first team of officers to arrive planned to approach the second level of the store armed with both a shotgun and a 40-millimeter foam projectile launcher.

The witness “informed Officer Mazur that a suspect, not wearing pants, was armed with a bicycle lock, and there was no mention of a firearm,” the DOJ wrote in his report. “Agent Jones was not present during this conversation.”

Video released by the LAPD shows Jones rushing past the team of officers armed with the rifle, before finding Lopez and shooting him.

Former Chief Michel Moore and the police commission found that Jones did not follow department policy when he shot Lopez — while his first shot was within policy, the next two shots were The shootings he made were contrary to policy, the commission ruled.

An attorney for Jones did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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