LA Cop Who Shot & Killed Girl While Pursuing Suspect Won’t Be Charged

A police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department won’t be charged for his role in shooting and killing a teenage girl while he was pursuing a suspect.

On Wednesday, the California Department of Justice announced that Officer William Dorsey Jones Jr. won’t face any criminal charges for the incident.

In December of 2021, Jones was pursuing a man who had attacked two different women. In the pursuit, he fired his rifle three times in a local Burlington department store.

While officers shot the suspect and killed him, some of Jones’ shots missed. One went through the wall of a dressing room in the department store and killed 14-year-old Valentina Orellana Peralta, who was hiding in there with her mother.

The state DOJ said that instead of filing charges against Jones, the LAPD “should consider updating their communication training bulleting and any related training to account for the type of situation presented during this event.”

In a statement accompanying the announcement, Democratic state Attorney General Rob Bonta said:

“This case was a particularly challenging one to process as this involved the loss of two lives. Any loss of life is a tragedy, and my heart goes out especially to the family of Valentina Orellanta Peralta, who tragically lost her life and whose only involvement in this incident was by being at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Peralta’s family almost immediately pressed the LAPD for justice after the shooting. Now, it doesn’t seem as though they are going to get that.

In a statement that was read by Ben Crump, the family’s attorney, back in 2022, Juan Pablo Orellana Larenas, the teen’s father, said:

“It is like my whole heart has been ripped out of my body. We want justice for our daughter. Valentina’s life mattered.”

In 2022, the civilian board at the LAPD reviewed the case and determined that the use of lethal force by Jones against the suspect was justified. However, they also found that Jones wasn’t justified in firing more than once.

Despite this, he will not face any criminal charges in the incident that left an innocent 14-year-old girl dead.

When the incident occurred on December 23, 2022, media outlets reported that 24-year-old Daniel Elena-Lopez entered a North Hollywood Burlington Coat Factory store with a bicycle.

Body camera and surveillance footage that the LAPD eventually released shows that the suspect went upstairs on an escalator and was swinging a bike lock at other shoppers.

Stacy Spell, a captain with the LAPD, said at the time that officers responded to the store and opened fire after encountering “an individual who was in the process of assaulting another.”

Following the incident, Jones was placed on administrative leave by the LAPD, and an investigation into his conduct immediately began.

Calls for justice didn’t just come from the teen’s family, but from many other members of the community, who believed Jones and the LAPD as a whole should be held accountable for her death.