Cops say California teen girl, 15, killed by officers during shootout ‘witnessed’ dad kill her mother – but still fired back and charged at officers while wearing tactical gear who caught up with her and fugitive dad
Anthony John Graziano, 45, was accused of killing his estranged wife and abducting their 15-year-old daughter
Savannah Graziano, 15, who was killed alongside her father in a shootout with California police had witnessed him murder her mother one day earlier
Savannah had been was seated in the back of her father’s pickup truck when he got out to shoot her mother, Tracy Martinez, 45, to death in Fontana on Monday
The estranged couple were about to divorce and Graziano had moved out of the family home
He had been living with the teenager out of his pickup truck and hotels for weeks before the violence, authorities said
Savannah and her father were both killed after a long chase along a desert interstate east of Los Angeles in Hesperia
She allegedly, fired back at police and charged at officers while wearing tactical gear after they caught up with father and daughter
Graziano died in the truck while Savannah, wearing tactical gear and a helmet, was fatally shot as ‘she ran toward deputies amid a hail of gunfire’
The Southern California teenager killed this week alongside her father in a shootout with law enforcement was with him a day earlier when he fatally shot her mother.
Savannah Graziano, 15, was in the back of her father’s pickup truck when he gunned down her 45-year-old mother, Tracy Martinez, on Monday, according to Fontana police.
Witnesses and two videos – one from a bystander and another from a doorbell – show she remained still as her mother screamed.
‘She’s just sitting in the backseat,’ Sgt. Christian Surgent said in a phone interview Thursday.
Authorities had previously said the teen was somewhere else during her mother´s killing and was later abducted by her father, Anthony John Graziano, but the two videos obtained Wednesday showed her inside the truck between 30 and 60 seconds before the gunfire began, police said.
15-year-old Savannah Graziano was killed alongside her father in a shootout with law enforcement was with him a day earlier when he fatally shot her mother, police said Thursday.
After The pickup he was driving became disabled after going off the highway in the city of Hesperia, law enforcement officers and vehicles surrounded the vehicle driven by Anthony John Graziano and and the firefight ensued.
Police said the teen was shot when she exited a truck’s passenger side wearing tactical gear.
Graziano had killed his estranged wife the day before and according to some accounts, abducted their daughter. Other accounts say she went willingly and was infact, sitting in the vehicle when Graziano shot her mother.
Witnesses did not report seeing Savannah get out of the vehicle as Martinez tried to escape her estranged husband, Anthony Graziano, who then jumped out wielding a handgun, Surgent said.
Graziano, 45, shot Martinez multiple times and also turned and fired on a nearby car. No one else was hurt.
Martinez was rushed to hospital, where she was pronounced dead, but before she died Martinez identified her killer as Graziano before she died, but never mentioned her daughter being there, Surgent said. Neither video showed the shooting.
Family members told investigators that the couple had been going through a divorce.
Savannah and her father were both killed a day later after a long chase along a desert interstate east of Los Angeles in Hesperia, about 35 miles north of the homicide scene.
At a press conference was held by Sheriff Dicus as he explained what unfolded which left Anthony John Graziano, dead along with his 15-year old daughter Savannah Graziano who was dressed in tactical gear. Graziano was the main suspect in the killing of his wife
Throughout the chase, Graziano – and possibly also his daughter – was ‘constantly shooting back at the deputies’ through the truck’s rear window, San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus said.
Rifle shots were fired at the pursuing officers from Graziano’s pickup truck, which became disabled after driving off the highway in the city of Hesperia, and the firefight ensued.
Several rounds of gunfire coming from Graziano’s truck went through a patrol car’s windshield and later disabled a second pursuing vehicle, authorities said.
Graziano died in the truck while Savannah, wearing tactical gear and a helmet, was fatally shot as she exited her father’s truck and ran toward deputies amid a hail of gunfire. It is not clear whether she was hit by shots fired by officers, her dad, or both. The matter is under investigation.
The deputies did not initially realize it was the girl who was running toward them, Sheriff Dicus said, because she was wearing a helmet and a military-style vest that can hold armored plates.
She was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The California Department of Justice is reviewing the teen’s death under a state law requiring the agency to investigate police shootings involving the death of unarmed civilians.
Her father was found in the driver’s seat and pronounced dead at the scene. A rifle was found inside the car.
One deputy was injured by shrapnel during the firefight, Sheriff Dicus said.
Authorities have said they have police video showing the freeway shootout but have not made that public. They have not released the two videos showing Savannah in the pickup truck just before her mother was killed, either.
Meanwhile, detectives in Fontana still have not determined a motive for the slaying.
Investigators later searched the family’s Fontana home and Graziano’s storage unit. Graziano and his daughter had moved out of weeks prior.
Inside the storage pod they found a cache AR-15-style rifles, handguns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, smoke grenades and other tactical gear, Surgent said.
The firearms were legally owned by Graziano, who was not or probation or parole. Savannah’s younger brother told investigators that the siblings grew up around guns.
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