Fugitive murder suspect who killed his teenage daughter in shootout with lawmakers on Freeway 15 in Hesperia; Yellow alert disabled
HESPERIA, Calif. (KABC)– A 15-year-old girl at the center of an Amber Alert was shot dead in a shootout between her father – a wanted murder suspect – and lawmakers in Hesperia on Tuesday, authorities said.
San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus said at a news conference that Savannah Graziano exited the vehicle carrying tactical gear and ran towards the deputies as the shooting unfolded. The young girl was shot and later died.
Authorities say they are checking if she was armed and opened fire on MPs.
This is a breaking news update. The original story is below.
The fugitive in one of Fontana’s murders was killed Tuesday in a shootout with sheriff’s deputies on Freeway 15 in the High Desert after he allegedly fled with his teenage daughter, authorities said.
The suspect, 45-year-old Anthony John Graziano, was pronounced dead at the scene in Hesperia, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. His passenger was also shot, but authorities would not immediately say if she was the missing 15-year-old girl.
Investigators had issued an Amber Alert after Graziano fled with his daughter Savannah Graziano in a white 2017 Nissan Frontier with California license plates. Graziano was described as armed and dangerous after he allegedly killed a woman in a domestic violence incident on Monday.
The sheriff’s department said it received a call Tuesday morning about a vehicle matching the description of the Amber Alert that went out for the teenager on Monday. The call said the vehicle was traveling southbound on the freeway in Barstow.
Authorities caught up with the vehicle at the Main Street exit in Hesperia, and gunfire ensued between a suspect and his deputies.
The search for Graziano began Monday after a woman was shot dead in an alleged domestic violence incident in Fontana. At that time he is said to have been with his daughter Savanna Graziano.
An Amber Alert was issued for the teenager shortly after the murder, but the California Highway Patrol says it has since been deactivated.
Children and parents took cover in the Fontana shooting, which took place on a street that neighbors say is usually a busy drop-off zone for Cypress Elementary School, which is about a block away.
Footage from the scene showed a minivan whose rear window was shattered after the shooting and another car riddled with bullet holes.
“The man just came down the street and shot. He started shooting in that direction,” said neighborhood resident Andy Davis as he pointed to where the gunman opened fire. “Meet those trees, houses across the street. They say the bullets ricocheted off the road and the woman tried to run for her life and unfortunately she was hit. After she got hit, he probably shot her a few more times.”
Witnesses say they saw a man pull up in a white truck, then started running and shooting. They described hearing multiple shots, followed by a pause, and then more shots were fired.
“He quickly jumped out of the truck and ran and shot at the same time,” said Dorothy Carreon, who lives in the neighborhood.
Fontana police told Riverside Press-Enterprise that the woman was the suspect’s wife and the mother of the 15-year-old girl.
Officers arriving found the unidentified woman with multiple gunshot wounds, police said. She was taken to the hospital, where she later died.
Authorities believe Graziano took his daughter and fled.
“We are very fortunate that no one else was injured when there were so many people around and so many children walking to school this morning,” Romero said. “We are very fortunate that no one else was injured.”
Romero said Graziano was a Fontana resident, but investigators learned he previously lived in Arizona.
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