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(LOS ANGELES) — Two people were fatally shot, including a 14-year-old girl struck by a stray bullet that entered her dressing room, after officers opened fire during a confrontation with a suspect at a Los Angeles clothing store, police said.
The incident occurred shortly before noon Thursday at a Burlington store in North Hollywood, where Los Angeles police responded to reports of an assault with a deadly weapon, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
While searching for the suspect, “the officers encountered an individual who was in the process of assaulting another, and an officer-involved shooting occurred,” LAPD Capt. Stacy Spell told reporters during a news briefing.
The suspect, an adult man, was shot by police and declared dead at the scene, LAPD said.
A second person was also shot during the incident, whom LAPD later identified as a 14-year-old girl.
Police believe the teenager was struck by an officer’s bullet fired at the assault suspect that penetrated a wall into her dressing room, LAPD said in an update Thursday evening. She was found during a search for additional suspects and victims and pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
“At this time we believe it was a round coming from an officer,” LAPD Assistant Chief Dominic Choi told reporters Thursday evening.
The identities of the teenager and suspect have not been released.
A third person, a woman, was also injured during the alleged assault, Spell said, and was transported to the hospital. Investigators were still determining the extent and nature of her injuries.
It is also unclear if there was any connection between her and the suspect, Choi said.
Investigators were still determining what prompted the officers to open fire and what the alleged weapon was. Police have not found a gun during the search of the area at this time, Choi said.
“We’re at the very preliminary stages of this investigation,” Spell said. “There’s still a lot of surveillance video to review, there are witnesses to interview.”
Investigators will also be looking at police body-worn camera footage, which was on during the incident, Choi said. The officers involved in the shooting also still need to be interviewed, he said.
A Burlington spokesperson said the company is supporting authorities during the ongoing investigation.
“At Burlington, our hearts are heavy as a result of the tragic incident that occurred today at our North Hollywood, CA store,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Our top priority is always the safety and well-being of our customers and associates.”
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