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LA police shoot, wound armed man on Christmas Eve

December 25, 2021 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police shot and wounded an armed man on Christmas Eve in the San Fernando Valley, just a day after an officer fatally shot a 14-year-old girl when officers fired on an assault suspect and a bullet went through the wall and struck the girl as she was in a clothing store dressing room.

The man, whose name has not been released, was listed in critical condition on Friday, according to Twitter posts from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Division. The division could not be reached Saturday for additional details.

Friday’s shooting of the man in the San Fernando Valley marks the 37th time LAPD officers have shot people — 17 of them fatally, including the teenage girl and the assault suspect — in 2021, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Those figures mark a dramatic rise in cases where officers shot or killed people in either of the last two years — 27 people were shot and 7 of them killed by LA police in all of 2020. In 2019, officers shot 26 people, killing 12.

The 14-year-old girl, Valentina Orellana-Peralta, and the assault suspect, 24-year-old Daniel Elena Lopez, were fatally shot Thursday morning at a Burlington store in the North Hollywood area of the San Fernando Valley.

Officers responded to the store following reports of an assault and shots being fired on Thursday morning. They found a woman with moderate to serious injuries.

Lopez was shot and died at the store but one of the bullets went through drywall behind him and killed Orellana-Peralta, who was in a changing room with her mother, police said.

No gun was recovered at the scene; only a heavy metal cable lock was found near Lopez.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore promised a “thorough, complete and transparent investigation” into the shooting and said a critical incident video that will include 911 calls, body camera and other video will be released by Monday.

On Christmas Eve in the Reseda neighborhood — about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of the North Hollywood scene — officers responded to several reports of a man with a gun just a few blocks from the nearest police station around 10:30 a.m. Friday, according to the LAPD tweets.

Witnesses told police they’d seen the man shooting the gun into the air, the tweets said.

Officers found the man still armed, authorities said, and he allegedly did not follow commands to drop the gun.

At least one officer opened fire and the man was struck. Investigators recovered a gun at the scene and no officers were hurt.

Additional details were not immediately available.