Police on Thursday shot dead a man suspected of assault inside a Burlington store in North Hollywood, and an officer’s round broke through a locker room wall, killing a 14-year-old girl.
The incident took place around 11:45 a.m. near the intersection of Victory and Laurel Canyon Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, at a Burlington department store that is part of a chain formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory.
Police first received a call about an assault with a deadly weapon and then received further calls indicating there was a shooting in progress, LAPD captain Stacy Spell said during a briefing in the afternoon.
Officers arrived at the scene and began to search for a gunman.
“During this search for the suspect, officers encountered an individual who was assaulting another, and an officer involved fired,” Spell said. “The suspect was shot and then taken into custody. “
Los Angeles firefighters responded and declared two people dead at the scene.
One of those who died was the suspect, who was shot dead by police, according to Los Angeles Police.
The second person was a 14-year-old girl, who was later found, according to LAPD deputy chief Dominic Choi.
When officers shot the suspect, one of the officer’s bullets penetrated a wall behind the suspect. Beyond that wall was a locker room, and when officers searched the locker room they found the girl had been fatally shot by the gunfire, police said in a subsequent briefing.
“You can’t see into the locker room and it looks like a straight wall of drywall,” Choi said.
In addition, the woman who was assaulted by the suspect had moderate to severe injuries to her head, arms and face, police said. She was taken to a trauma center. It was not immediately clear whether she had been shot.
Police said they found a heavy metal anti-theft cable near the suspect, but it was not yet clear what weapon he used to assault the woman.
Investigators have still not revealed whether this was a targeted or random attack.
“At the moment there is an indication of a suspect,” Spell said.
The store was packed at the time of the incident, filled with frightened employees and customers who took shelter in place.
Throughout the day, anxious family members gathered outside in the parking lot, hoping to hear from their loved ones inside – both customers and workers who witnessed the incident and who were questioned by the authorities.
Police said the investigation was ongoing and surveillance footage would be reviewed. No further details were immediately available.
Check back for updates to this developing story.
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