San Bernardino County

Teen Girl ‘Was a Participant' in Deadly Shootout After Amber Alert, Sheriff Says

Savannah Graziano, 15, died at a hospital on Tuesday evening after being struck by gunfire, and investigators have not yet said whether deputies, her father, or both fired the fatal shots.


Evidence suggests the 15-year-old girl killed in a Tuesday shootout with deputies along the 15 Freeway in Victorville after she was the subject of an Amber Alert "was a participant" in that shootout, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff.

The Sheriff's update on the case -- a domestic violence incident that turned into an Amber Alert before ending in a pursuit and shootout that left the girl and her father dead -- came via a video statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday.

"Based on the information, evidence suggests that Savannah Graziano was a participant in shooting at our deputies," said Sheriff Shannon D. Dicus. He did not share any details about the evidence.

According to authorities on Monday, Savannah Graziano was kidnapped by her father, Anthony Graziano, that morning.

The 45-year-old man allegedly shot Savannah's mother -- his ex-wife -- near an elementary school in Fontana. The domestic violence incident killed 45-year-old Tracy Martinez.

Anthony Graziano then fled, picking up Savannah on his way away from the scene, according to Fontana police. Authorities issued an Amber Alert soon after.

Fontana police told the Associated Press, after Tuesday afternoon's deadly shootout, that Savannah had moved in with her father after Graziano and Martinez divorced. Detectives are now trying to determine whether Savannah was coerced into leaving with her father when he picked her up after allegedly shooting Martinez, or whether she went willingly.

On Tuesday, the day after the Amber Alert was issued, authorities responded to a 911 caller who spotted the white pickup truck from the Amber Alert driving on the 15 Freeway near Barstow.

Police began chasing the vehicle, and according to the San Bernardino Sheriff's department, Anthony Graziano fired at deputies out of the rear of the car, shooting "constantly."

The vehicle "became disabled" in Hesperia. No details about why the vehicle stopped working were immediately shared.

A "fire fight" ensued between Anthony Graziano and deputies, officials said. Police shot at the truck, and struck the man, who was found dead in the driver's seat of the car.

Savannah Graziano, wearing a tactical helmet and vest, got out of the truck and ran toward deputies during the shootout. She died at a hospital on Tuesday evening after being struck by gunfire, and investigators have not yet said whether deputies, Anthony Graziano, or both fired the fatal shots.

The shooting is being investigated. As of Wednesday's statement from the Sheriff, the California Department of Justice and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department were still deciding which department would lead the investigation.

"Based on the totality of events and the requirements of Assembly Bill 1506, I have consulted with the California Department of Justice about assuming the primary role for this investigation," Dicus said in the video statement. "If in fact the requirements for AB 1506 are met, and they take the lead, any addition updates will be released by Cal DOJ."

AB 1506 went into effect on July 1 of last year. Under the bill, the California DOJ is required to "investigate and review for potential criminal liability an officer-involved shooting," particularly when the shooting results "in the death of an unarmed civillian," Bonta's office said.

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