Cops Who Described Amber Alert Teen As A Threat To Officers Under Review For Her Killing




The California state Justice Department is investigating after a police pursuit involving an adult murder suspect and an Amber Alert subject ended with the minor's death under murky circumstances east of Los Angeles on Tuesday.

San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus initially said that the minor, 15-year-old Savannah Graziano, had likely been shooting at deputies and was clad in "tactical gear." But on Wednesday, the department turned over its investigation to state authorities, as is required to do when an unarmed civilian is shot and killed by law enforcement.

The state's attorney general's office believes Savannah was likely unarmed, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. The office confirmed in a statement that it was reviewing the incident in accordance with Assembly Bill 1506, a 2020 law covering officer-involved shootings.

The girl's father, Anthony John Graziano, was also shot dead at the scene after having led police on a lengthy highway chase in a white pickup truck.

Graziano, 45, was suspected of murdering his estranged wife Monday morning in a crime allegedly witnessed by his daughter.

The entire tragic incident has attracted controversy on social media after a local news station credulously recounted the sheriff's version of events, describing the likelihood that Savannah was unarmed as a "stunning new twist." It sparked renewed discussion on whether news media is generally too deferential to law enforcement, as it remains unclear whether Savannah was actually leaping out of the truck in order to seek help from the police when they ― perhaps mistakenly ― shot her.

The Amber Alert issued for Savannah on Monday described her as having been kidnapped by her father, and cautioned that he was "armed and dangerous."

An undated photo provided by the City of Fontana Police Department shows 45-year-old Anthony John Graziano.
An undated photo provided by the City of Fontana Police Department shows 45-year-old Anthony John Graziano.  

An undated photo provided by the City of Fontana Police Department shows 45-year-old Anthony John Graziano. (Photo: Courtesy of City of Fontana Police Department via Associated Press)

In a Wednesday press conference, Sheriff Dicus said the police chase began when a resident spotted the white truck described in the alert around 10 a.m., prompting deputies to respond. Graziano then allegedly began firing at the deputies, hitting their windshield and disabling one police vehicle as he sped off. A firefight eventually ensued near an exit, and that's when Graziano's truck finally came to a halt.

At that time, the sheriff said, "a subject exit[ed] the passenger side of the vehicle wearing tactical gear" including what appeared to be a bulletproof vest and "tactical helmet."

"That subject starts to run toward sheriff's deputies and, during the gunfire, goes down," Dicus said, adding that there was allegedly evidence that she had been "a participant" in the exchange of gunfire with deputies.

The chase stretched some 35 miles along a desert highway east of Los Angeles, near the town of Hesperia, according to The Associated Press.

A bullet hole is seen in a windshield outside Cypress Elementary School following Monday
A bullet hole is seen in a windshield outside Cypress Elementary School following Monday's nearby shooting, which left a mother dead.  

A bullet hole is seen in a windshield outside Cypress Elementary School following Monday's nearby shooting, which left a mother dead. (Photo: MediaNews Group/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Savannah's mother, Tracy Martinez, identified Graziano as the one who shot her Monday before she died of her wounds, the AP reported, citing Fontana Police Sgt. Christian Surgent. Martinez had been shot in the town of Fontana, California, outside an elementary school during morning drop-offs.

Savannah had allegedly been sitting in the back seat of the white pickup when her father opened fire on her mother.

Surgent said Graziano and Martinez were in the midst of a divorce and were living separately, with Savannah and her father leaving behind Martinez and a younger child. He cast doubt over whether the teen went willingly with her father or was "actually abducted."

"We haven't been able to prove that just yet," he told the AP.

Dicus had told reporters that an assault-style rifle had been found in the truck after the gunfight came to an end. Graziano was found dead in the driver's seat, police said.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

Related...

  • 2 Men Targeted A School Librarian Who Spoke Out Against Censorship. They're Not Facing Any Consequences.

  • Jury Selection Complete In Oath Keepers Seditious Conspiracy Trial

  • Republicans Hail 'Patriotic' FBI Agent Who Refused To Work On Jan. 6 Cases

COMMENTS

More Related News

Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers Prediction Game Preview
Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers Prediction Game Preview

Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers game preview, prediction, and breakdown for the game on Sunday, December 11

Suspect in Mishawaka police pursuit, crash that killed two teens arrested after two years
Suspect in Mishawaka police pursuit, crash that killed two teens arrested after two years
  • US
  • 2022-12-09 18:45:44Z

Family of a Mishawaka teen killed in the crash has sued the city, saying it was unsafe for police to start a car chase in a residential neighborhood.

Baker Mayfield leads improbable comeback in first appearance for L.A. Rams
Baker Mayfield leads improbable comeback in first appearance for L.A. Rams

In his first appearance for the Los Angeles Rams, Baker Mayfield led a 98-yard touchdown drive to win the game.

NFL Twitter stunned as Baker Mayfield leads Rams
NFL Twitter stunned as Baker Mayfield leads Rams' comeback win vs. Raiders

Just days after joining the Los Angeles Rams, Baker Mayfield led an improbable comeback win vs. the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday Night Football.

Hate crimes in L.A. County reach highest level in nearly two decades
Hate crimes in L.A. County reach highest level in nearly two decades
  • US
  • 2022-12-07 20:44:27Z

Los Angeles County documented 786 reported hate crime victims in 2021 - the most in nearly two decades.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America