Teen girl likely unarmed when killed in police shootout, A.G. says

Savannah Graziano, the 15-year-old girl who was killed in a shootout between her father and law enforcement in Hesperia on Tuesday, was likely unarmed when she ran toward lawmakers, according to a preliminary investigation handed to California’s attorney general’s office.

The initial findings have prompted the California Department of Justice to take over the investigation being conducted by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the attorney general’s office told The Times in an email Thursday.

The Sheriff’s Department said it had notified the Justice Department that the shooting could fall under AB 1506 due to the girl’s death. Under that law, the Justice Department is required to investigate cases in which “the death of an unarmed civilian is caused by a California peace officer,” according to a bulletin Atty sent out last year. Gen. Rob Bonta to police chiefs, sheriffs, state law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.

The preliminary investigation into the shooting found the case to be legally qualified, a spokesman for Bonta’s office said.

The shooting came at the end of a 70-mile pursuit in which San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputies tried to stop Savannah’s father, 45-year-old Anthony Graziano, who was suspected of killing his estranged wife in Fontana the day before to have.

Sheriff’s officers said they came under constant fire during the pursuit, with bullets piercing windshields of squad cars and at one point incapacitating a deputy sheriff’s vehicle. Police killed Graziano and Savannah after he drove his white pickup truck off the 15 freeway.

On Wednesday, San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus said, “Evidence indicates that Savannah also participated in the shooting of our deputies.”

Dicus, who said Savannah was wearing body armor and a tactical helmet as she ran towards the deputies, declined to publicly answer questions about whether the teenager was armed when she was shot.

The only weapon that crime scene investigators recovered was an AR-15-style rifle that was found in the truck near Graziano, Dicus said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Dicus said his decision to contact the Justice Department came after an initial investigation by his department that included an overnight search of a crime scene that stretched dozens of miles.

The sheriff’s department declined to answer further questions about the decision or Savannah’s death. A spokesman said the department would no longer comment on the investigation and referred any questions to the attorney general’s office.

The shooting happened nearly 24 hours after the California Highway Patrol issued an Amber Alert for Savannah. The alarm was raised after police found Fontana Graziano’s wife, Tracy Martinez, who had been shot dead in the street near her home in Fontana, leaving the girl missing.

Law enforcement officials have since begun investigating more closely what role Savannah may have played when her father fled authorities. Sheriff’s officers said it appears the girl fired at the deputies during the miles-long pursuit.

On Thursday, Fontana Police said new video obtained by detectives from a witness to Martinez’s murder shows Savannah sitting in the back seat of Graziano’s truck seconds before he got out and killed his estranged wife.

Fontana Police Sgt. Christian Surgent said the eight-second clip shows Graziano in the driver’s seat arguing with Martinez, who was in the passenger seat. Savannah can be seen in the back seat of the truck behind Martinez in the video.

The video shows the couple in a heated argument, Surgent said. Seconds later, police said, Martinez gets out of the truck. Graziano then steps out and shoots her multiple times, authorities said. The video does not show the shooting.

Detectives initially thought Graziano picked Savannah up from an undisclosed location after the shooting. But video obtained by detectives Wednesday from a ring camera in the area also confirmed that Savannah was in the backseat of the truck when her mother was shot, Surgent said.

The Fontana Police Department said it was unclear if the girl left with her father voluntarily after her mother died. Investigators said they believe Graziano and his wife are getting a divorce and that he has moved out of their home in Fontana.

Savannah decided to live with her father about a month ago, Surgent said. The two had stayed at local hotels and motels and camped in nearby parks before their mother was killed.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-09-29/teen-girl-likely-unarmed-when-killed-in-police-shootout-a-g-says Teen girl likely unarmed when killed in police shootout, A.G. says

Alley Einstein

USTimesPost.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@ustimespost.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button