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Teen girl likely unarmed when killed in police shootout, A.G. says



Savannah Graziano, the 15-year-old woman killed in a shootout between her father and regulation enforcement Tuesday in Hesperia, was doubtless unarmed as she ran towards deputies, in accordance with a preliminary investigation that’s been turned over to the California lawyer basic’s workplace.

The preliminary findings have prompted the California Division of Justice to take over the investigation, which was being dealt with by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Division, the state lawyer basic’s workplace instructed The Instances in an e-mail Thursday.

The Sheriff’s Division stated it notified the Justice Division that the taking pictures may qualify underneath AB 1506 due to the woman’s demise. Beneath that regulation, the Justice Division is required to analyze instances through which “the demise to the unarmed civilian is attributable to a California peace officer,” in accordance with a bulletin despatched final 12 months by Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta to police chiefs, sheriffs, state regulation enforcement businesses and district attorneys.

The preliminary investigation into the taking pictures indicated the case certified underneath the regulation, a spokesperson with Bonta’s workplace stated.

The shootout got here on the finish of a 70-mile pursuit through which San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies tried to drag over Savannah’s father, 45-year-old Anthony Graziano, who was suspected of killing his estranged spouse the day earlier than in Fontana.

Sheriff’s officers stated they got here underneath fixed hearth through the pursuit, with bullets piercing the windshields of patrol automobiles and at one level disabling a deputy’s automobile. Regulation enforcement killed Graziano and Savannah after he pulled his white pickup truck off the 15 Freeway.

On Wednesday, San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus stated “proof means that Savannah was additionally a participant in taking pictures at our deputies.”

Dicus, who stated Savannah was sporting physique armor and a tactical helmet as she ran towards deputies, declined to publicly reply questions whether or not the teenager was armed when she was shot and killed.

The one weapon that investigators have confirmed retrieving from the crime scene was an AR-15-style rifle discovered within the truck, close to Graziano, Dicus stated at a information convention Tuesday.

Dicus stated his choice to contact the Justice Division got here after an preliminary investigation by his division, which included an in a single day search of a criminal offense scene that prolonged dozens of miles.

The Sheriff’s Division declined to reply extra questions in regards to the choice or about Savannah’s demise. A spokesperson stated the division would now not be commenting on the investigation and referred all inquiries to the state lawyer basic’s workplace.

The taking pictures occurred almost 24 hours after the California Freeway Patrol put out an Amber Alert for Savannah. The alert was prompted after Fontana police discovered Graziano’s spouse, Tracy Martinez, shot to demise on the street close to her Fontana residence and the woman lacking.

Regulation enforcement officers have since begun to look extra intently at what position, if any, Savannah could have performed as her father fled from authorities. Sheriff’s officers stated it seems the woman could have fired at deputies through the miles-long pursuit.

On Thursday, Fontana police stated new video obtained by detectives from a witness to Martinez’s killing exhibits that Savannah was within the backseat of Graziano’s truck seconds earlier than he received out and killed his estranged spouse.

Fontana Police Sgt. Christian Surgent stated the eight-second clip exhibits Graziano within the driver’s seat arguing with Martinez, who was sitting within the passenger’s seat. Savannah is seen within the video within the backseat of the truck, behind Martinez.

The video exhibits the couple in a heated argument, Surgent stated. Seconds later, police stated, Martinez will get out the truck. Graziano then steps out and shoots her a number of occasions, authorities stated. The video doesn’t present the taking pictures.

Detectives initially thought Graziano had picked up Savannah from an unknown location after the taking pictures. However video obtained by detectives Wednesday from a Ring digital camera within the space additionally confirmed that Savannah was within the backseat of the truck when her mom was shot to demise, Surgent stated.

The Fontana Police Division stated it’s unclear whether or not the woman had gone willingly together with her father after her mom’s demise. Investigators stated that they imagine Graziano and his spouse have been going via a divorce and that he had moved out of their Fontana residence.

Savannah determined to stay together with her father a few month in the past, Surgent stated. The 2 had been staying at native accommodations and motels, and tenting at close by parks earlier than her mom was killed.

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