Teenage Kidnapping Victim Shot by Police

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(BrightPress.org) – In September 2022, a California teenager was shot by police officers after being abducted by her father. Fifteen-year-old Savannah Graziano was taken by her father, 45-year-old Anthony John Graziano, on September 26th, 2022, after she witnessed him shoot and kill her mother, Tracy Martinez.

An Amber Alert for Savannah was issued after Martinez identified Graziano, her estranged husband, as the shooter before she died. Witnesses spotted Graziano’s truck the next morning and called 911. Deputies located the truck and a chase ensued. San Bernardino County Sheriff, Shannon Dicus said shots were fired from the back window of Graziano’s truck during the chase, damaging patrol cars that were in pursuit.

The chase ended when Graziano failed to maneuver his vehicle up an embankment. Gunshots were exchanged between deputies and Graziano. Video footage later obtained from a police helicopter shows an aerial view of Savannah exiting Graziano’s truck. Radio footage from the helicopter confirmed a “female juvie” exited the passenger side of the truck. The video shows Savannah crouching as she moves towards deputies. Audio from the belt recorder of the deputy nearest to Savannah confirms the deputy ordered the passenger of the vehicle to “get out!” and “Come here! Come to me!”

As she followed the deputy’s instructions, Savannah was fatally shot by gunfire from other deputies as the officer near her yelled “Stop! Stop shooting her! She’s OK! He’s in the car!” Deputies administered medical aid. Savannah was transported to a local hospital where she died of her injuries.

Graziano was also shot by deputies and was pronounced dead on the scene.

The Sheriff’s Department originally stated that deputies didn’t know Savannah was the person who exited the vehicle because she was wearing “tactical gear,” but the aerial footage which was requested by “The Press-Enterprise” newspaper of Riverside, does not support the claim.

The aerial video that contradicts the statement of Sheriff Dicus was released on April 1st after being requested by “The Press-Enterprise” under the California Public Records Act.

The California Justice Department has taken over the investigation into the shooting.

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