The Los Angeles Police Department has confirmed that one of its officers accidentally killed a 14-year-old girl while making attempts to arrest an assault suspect in a clothing store.
According to reports by the United News of India, the officer opened fire on the suspect but the bullet passed through the wall of a dressing room.
In a statement issued by the force, the police received calls on Thursday morning about an armed attack at a store. When the officers arrived at the scene, they found several civilians sheltering inside the building, the police said.
The officers opened fire at the suspect and took him into custody. He was soon confirmed dead by the paramedics that arrived at the scene. No gun was reportedly recovered.
“Unbeknownst to the officers, a 14-year-old girl was in a changing room behind a wall, that was directly behind the suspect and out of the officers’ view.
“She was in the changing area with her mother when the officers encountered the suspect and the shooting occurred… She was pronounced dead at the scene,” the statement reads.
A woman was also injured in the confrontation and taken to hospital. The police are expected to release a full report on the incident on Monday. The head of the local police expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased.
Other reports in the local media disclosed that the state attorney general has launched a probe into the shooting.