NATIONAL NEWS

Video shows California deputies fatally shooting abducted teen as she runs toward them

Apr 2, 2024, 12:58 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A teenage girl who had been kidnapped by her father was following sheriff’s deputies’ instructions and appeared to be surrendering when deputies fatally shot her during a gun battle on a Southern California highway, according to recently released video and audio.

Savannah Graziano, 15, was shot and killed as she ran toward San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies amid a hail of gunfire on Sept. 27, 2022. Her father, 45-year-old Anthony Graziano was also fatally shot.

The shootout occurred on an desert interstate east of Los Angeles in Hesperia, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) north of Fontana, where her father had shot and killed her mother — his estranged wife — a day earlier.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department released the audio and video clips, including a heavily produced and narrated 15-minute video, on Friday in response to public records requests made by The Associated Press and other media outlets.

For months, officials would not say whether it was her father or the deputies who killed Savannah Graziano. In the new video, the narrator says the Grazianos “were struck by deputy rounds and died of their injuries.”

The agency has yet to release autopsy reports for the teenager, her father or her mother, Tracy Martinez, and it has not named the deputies involved. A spokesperson for the agency has not responded to a request for comment Tuesday.

The state Department of Justice, which is investigating the shooting, referred media inquiries to their 2022 news release and declined further comment.

Savannah Graziano witnessed her mother’s slaying from the backseat of her father’s pickup truck, authorities said. He jumped out with a handgun and fired several times at Martinez near an elementary school during morning drop-off, forcing students and parents to dive for cover.

Anthony Graziano also shot at a father and child near the school, the sheriff’s department said. Authorities issued an Amber Alert for Savannah Graziano following the shooting in Fontana.

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Video shows California deputies fatally shooting abducted teen as she runs toward them