Los Angeles police fatally shot a 14-year-old girl who was in a clothing store dressing room Thursday when officers fired on an assault suspect and a bullet went through the wall and struck the girl, the Associated Press reports. Police also fatally shot the suspect at a Burlington store in the North Hollywood area of the San Fernando Valley. Witnesses said a man began acting erratically, threatening to throw items from an upper floor, and attacked a woman with a bicycle lock as the store was crowded with holiday shoppers. The suspect was shot and died at the store but one of the bullets went through drywall behind the man and killed the girl, who was in a changing room with her mother. Officers found the teenager dead after seeing a hole in “a solid wall that you can’t see behind,” LAPD Assistant Chief Dominic Choi said.
Investigators didn’t know whether she was in the dressing room before the violence began or ran there to hide. Investigators were trying to determine whether the assault was random or targeted. Choi said they don’t believe the teenager was related to the person who was attacked. The victim was taken to the hospital with moderate to serious injuries, Fire Department spokesperson Nicholas Prange said. Choi said she had wounds to her head, arms and face.