Suspected of murder in California, his teenage daughter killed in a shooting
VICTORVILLE, Calif. — An abducted 15-year-old girl and her father — a fugitive wanted in the death of the teen’s mother — were killed in a shootout with law enforcement Tuesday on a highway in the California’s high desert, authorities said.
The teenager, Savannah Graziano, was wearing tactical gear as she ran towards sheriff’s deputies during the shooting, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus.
Authorities have not said whether the teenager was hit by bullets fired by her father or responding deputies.
She was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly before noon.
Her father, Anthony John Graziano, 45, was pronounced dead at the scene at Hesperia. He allegedly killed Tracy Martinez, 45, on Monday in a domestic violence incident in the town of Fontana, according to Fontana Police Sgt. Chris Surgent. Family members told investigators the couple were going through a divorce.
Investigators had issued an Amber Alert after Graziano fled with his daughter. He had been described as armed and dangerous.
On Tuesday, a 911 caller reported seeing the Nissan Frontier in Barstow, according to the sheriff’s department. Authorities said a chase began and Graziano fired several shots through the rear window of the vehicle.
The Nissan broke down in Hesperia, about 35 miles north of Fontana, authorities said. Deputies returned fire from the suspect, hitting Graziano and a female passenger, although police did not initially confirm it was the abducted girl.
The initial murder was discovered early Monday. Officers responded around 7:30 a.m. to reports of gunshots and found the victim with multiple gunshot wounds in a home, police said in a statement. Martinez was rushed to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Tuesday’s crime scene prompted major backups along Interstate 15.