Los Angeles, CA -- A mother-daughter shopping trip turned into a mother's worst nightmare on Thursday when police responded to a man holding a cable lock with deadly force. Instead of tasering or engaging the man with batons, police opened fire inside a crowded Burlington store killing not only the suspect, but also the teenage girl in a dressing room.
The tragic incident unfolded as police responded to calls of a man acting erratically inside the store Thursday morning. The man was alleged to have attacked a woman with a bicycle lock when police arrived.
As it is the last shopping week before Christmas the store was crowded and full of innocent people. The decision to begin firing a gun inside the crowded store was not only unnecessary -- as the suspect was merely accused of holding a bicycle lock -- but incredibly reckless.
“This chaotic incident resulting in the death of an innocent child is tragic and devastating for everyone involved,” Police Chief Michel Moore said in a statement late Thursday night. “I am profoundly sorry for the loss of this young girl’s life and I know there are no words that can relieve the unimaginable pain for the family.”
According to police, the unidentified 14-year-old girl was changing in a dressing room when an officer or officers opened fire on the man. The man was killed but one of the bullets also went through the wall and killed the girl as she tired on clothes with her mom.
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During a presser on Thursday afternoon, Moore promised a "thorough" investigation into the incident and said that a critical incident video that will include 911 calls, body camera and other video would be released by Monday.
According to the Guardian, news reports showed a woman with a bloodied face, who appeared to be the assault victim, being placed in an ambulance. The victim was taken to hospital with moderate to serious injuries, said the fire department’s spokesperson, Nicholas Prange. Choi said she had wounds to her head, arms and face.
Sadly, this is not the first time the LAPD has responded to a scene like this one and killed innocent people. As we reported in 2018, a police spokesperson admitted that the only victim who died after a shooting that turned into a hostage situation at a Trader Joe’s store in South Los Angeles was fatally shot by officers who fired a hail of bullets at the storefront. Then, last December, more than two years later, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office announced that the officers who recklessly fired into the building and killed the manager, would face no charges.
Melyda Corado, 27, was an assistant manager at the grocery store and her life ended tragically when her workplace became the scene where a police chase ended and officers started to exchange gunfire with the suspect they had been pursuing.
“This is what LAPD does. They can fire eight shots into a Trader Joe’s and kill someone and they think that’s just how these things played out,” Melyda's brother, Albert Corado said at the time. “That is a tragedy, but unfortunately, that’s the cost of LAPD doing business in the city.”
Now, tragically, a mother of a 14-year-old girl is learning this same lesson.