Los Angeles officer who shot and killed teen girl in dressing room won’t face charges

A Los Angeles police officer who shot and killed a teenage girl with a stray bullet will not be charged over the incident, the California Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

Officer William Dorsey Jones Jr. fired his rifle three times into a Burlington Coat Factory department store when pursuing a man who had attacked two women in December 2021. 

Valentina Orellana Peralta, 14 years old, was shot and killed while hiding in a dressing room with her mother, the bullet traveling through a wall. The suspect was also killed.

Instead of filing criminal charges against Jones, the state DOJ said in a report Wednesday that the Los Angeles Police Department “should consider updating their communication training bulletin and any related training to account for the type of situation presented during this event.”

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

In the days after the shooting, Peralta’s family pressed the LAPD for justice.

“It is like my whole heart has been ripped out of my body,” the teen’s father, Juan Pablo Orellana Larenas, said in a statement. “We want justice for our daughter. Valentina’s life mattered.”

The LAPD civilian review board determined in 2022 that Jones’ use of lethal force against the suspect was justified, but also found that he was not justified in firing his rifle more than once.

The Hill has reached out to the LAPD for comment.

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