When Los Angeles policemen fired on an assault suspect in a clothes store dressing room on Thursday, a bullet travelled through the wall and injured a 14-year-old girl, according to authorities.
The authorities said the suspect was fatally shot at a Burlington store in the North Hollywood section of the San Fernando Valley on Thursday morning.
As the store was busy with holiday customers, witnesses told KCBS-TV that a guy began acting abnormally, threatening to hurl stuff from the upper floor and attacking a woman with a bicycle lock soon before noon.
According to police, officers responded to reports of an attack and shots being fired. There was no gun found at the site, according to investigators.
The guy was shot and killed inside the business, but one of the bullets passed through drywall behind him and killed the girl, who was in the changing room with her mother, according to authorities.
The girl was discovered dead after officers noticed a hole in "a solid wall that you can't see beyond," according to LAPD Assistant Chief Dominic Choi.
"Investigators weren't sure if she was in the changing room before the violence started or if she fled in to hide," he added.
"This chaotic situation, which resulted in the death of an innocent kid, is heartbreaking and devastating for everyone concerned," Police Chief Michel Moore said late Thursday night in a statement. "I am deeply sorry for the loss of this young girl's life, and I understand that no words can ease the family's unspeakable grief."
Moore vowed a "thorough, complete, and transparent investigation" into the shooting, and said a critical incident video with 911 calls, body camera footage, and other footage would be provided by Monday.
The girl's and suspect's names were not immediately revealed, and the woman who was attacked was not named.