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Abducted Teen From Amber Alert Fatally Shot During ‘Firefight’ with San Bernardino Sheriff Deputies

3:51 PM PDT on September 28, 2022

Savannah Graziano, a 15-year-old girl that authorities were trying to locate after her father allegedly murdered her mother and abducted her, was fatally shot during an alleged “firefight” between her father and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputies (SBSD), San Bernardino Sheriff Shannon Dicus said during a press briefing yesterday. Dicus did not confirm whether Savannah Graziano was shot by deputies or her father, Anthony John Graziano, who was also fatally shot during the incident.

On Monday morning, Anthony Graziano, a 45-year-old Fontana, California resident, allegedly shot his wife before taking off with his 15-year-old daughter in what Fontana Police described as a “domestic violence incident.” Patch.com reported that the couple was reportedly in the middle of a divorce.

An amber alert was issued, and a day later, authorities received a tip from a citizen near Barstow who thought they spotted Graziano’s white 2017 Nissan pickup truck with California plates and a distinct sticker that read “animal” on the rear quarter panel.

Deputies made contact with the suspect vehicle, and a chase ensued through multiple jurisdictions, first down Interstate 58 and then Interstate 15, while Anthony Graziano reportedly fired at two deputy patrol vehicles, disabling one unit, according to Sheriff Dicus. Eventually, San Bernardino Sheriff’s Deputies were led to where Main Street meets Interstate 15 in Hesperia, California. Graziano's vehicle reportedly went “off-road” where a “firefight” ensued, Dicus said on Tuesday.

“The suspect vehicle comes to rest at which time a subject exits the passenger side of the vehicle wearing tactical gear, that subject starts to run towards sheriff's deputies and during the gunfire goes down.” Later, deputies confirmed that the “subject” in tactical gear was in fact 15-year-old Savannah Graziano.

On Tuesday, Sheriff Dicus described Savannah as wearing a “plate carrier and tactical-type helmet” at the time of the shooting The sheriff confirmed that a rifle described as an “AR-type rifle” was found “inside the vehicle.” He did not say any weapons were found on the younger Graziano a few hours after the shooting but stressed that it was still early in the investigation. Video footage of the shooting was reportedly captured from “airships” but has not yet been released.

Sheriff Dicus alleged that Savannah may have fired at deputies before she was struck without providing any evidence. “There may be some indications that the passenger of the vehicle may have also been involved in some of the fire exchange.” When a reporter followed up and asked what information they have, Dicus said, “There may be some information that the passenger was involved in firing back at the deputies and were still trying to confirm that at this point.” When the reporter asked if Sheriff Dicus believed that allegation was true, the sheriff responded, “We don’t know.”

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