California teen killed by stray LAPD bullet laid to rest

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California teen killed by stray LAPD bullet laid to rest

Valentina Orellana-Peralta, the California teenager killed in a department store dressing room by a stray police bullet, was laid to rest Monday — with her grieving parents still struggling to understand why she died.

“As parents, we ask ourselves, is it just for our daughter to die in this way?” the 14-year-old victim’s father, Juan Pablo Orellana, said during a funeral service at the United Church of Christ in Lost Angeles, NBC-TV reported.

“It’s an answer we will never have,” he said.

Valentina and her mother were inside a North Hollywood department store on Dec. 23 when police opened fire on a suspect — with one bullet piercing the wall of the dressing room where both were cowering and hit the girl.

The teens’ mother, Soledad Peralta, said her daughter died in her arms.

Valentina's mother Soledad Peralta delivers a speech on stage next to Reverend Al Sharpton.
Valentina’s mother, Soledad Peralta, was with her daughter in her final moments.
EPA
Soledad Peralta reaches to touch her daughter, Valentina Orellana Peralta, 14, during her funeral.
Perlata is left questioning the death of her daughter, but acknowledged that she will never have an answer.
Getty Images
Soledad Peralta and Juan Pablo Orellana Larenas, stand next to attorney Rahul Ravipudi.
Valentina’s parents were accompanied by attorney Rahul Ravipudi during their teenage daughter’s funeral.
AFP via Getty Images

On Monday, Valentina’s cousin spoke about the teen’s thoughtful nature.

“Valentina was pensive and quiet, always thoughtful, always thinking,” Emily Carr told mourners. “She absorbed the world around her like a sponge. Always analyzing, appreciating people and places around her.”

“With so much love around her, it is no question that Valentina grew such a big heart,” Carr said. “All of her dreams consisted of applying herself into helping others.”

Forty doves are released at the funeral of 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta.
Valentina and her mother were cowering in the dressing room when the teen was struck by the bullet.
AP
Valentina with her family.
Valentina is remembered by her family as a thoughtful and appreciative young girl.
The family of Valentina Orellana

The service was presided over by the Rev. Al Sharpton.

The officer involved in the shooting was placed on leave.

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