During a shootout between a Los Angeles police officer and a suspect involved in an armed assault at a clothing store Thursday, one of the rounds pierced a wall, and killed a 14-year-old girl in a dressing room.
The shooting occurred in a Burlington store in North Hollywood at approximately 11:45 am during the holiday shopping season. Some of the 911 callers said they were hiding in the store, according to police.
Responding officers went upstairs and found a man assaulting a woman. The police opened fire and killed the man. Police have not yet identified the suspect. Dominic H. Choi, an assistant chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, said at a news conference that officers found a heavy metal lock cable near the man, but no gun.
Officer Drake Madison, a spokesperson for the department said that the suspect was taken into custody and died at the scene.
Los Angeles Police chief, Michel R. Moore, said that the shooting was the "worst thing anyone can imagine." The police did not immediately release the 14-year-old girl’s name who had been in the dressing room with her mother trying on dresses for a quinceañera.
Nicholas Prange, a spokesperson with the Fire Department said that another woman was injured and taken to a trauma center.
Chief Choi said the incident was a "...tragic and unfortunate sequence of events" and added that the investigation indicated that the teenager had been fatally shot by the police.
He added that though the body-camera video nor the store’s security-camera footage had been reviewed yet, it appeared that the dressing room had been in the officer’s line of fire.
According to California’s attorney general, Rob Bonta, the California Department of Justice was investigating.
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