Hesperia shooting: 15-year-old girl shot deputy before being killed in 15 freeway gun battles, sheriff says

HESPERIA, Calif. (KABC)– A 15-year-old girl shot deputies before she was killed in a freeway shootout between her father — a fugitive wanted in the teen’s mother’s death — and law enforcement, the San Bernardino County sheriff said Wednesday .

Anthony John Graziano and his daughter Savannah Graziano were killed Tuesday in a shootout with deputies on Freeway 15 in Hesperia after a 45-mile chase. Shots were fired at officers from the pickup truck as it was being pursued.

As it came to a halt, the girl, wearing a tactical helmet and vest, got out and ran towards the deputies amid a hail of gunfire, police said. Authorities are investigating whether she was shot by police officers or her father, or both.

Police said the only weapon found at the scene was a rifle in the truck where Anthony Graziano died. There is police video of the shooting which authorities are reviewing.

In a 39-second video posted to social media on Wednesday, San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus said evidence indicated the 15-year-old girl was “involved in the shooting of our deputies.” Dicus did not provide any further specific information in the video.

RELATED: 15-year-old girl killed in Hesperia shooting had stayed with father before mother was killed

On Tuesday, Dicus said during a news conference it was possible the teenager had shot MPs amid the chaos, but investigators were still trying to determine if that was the case.

The California Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it was investigating the shooting. A state law that went into effect last year requires the department to investigate all shootings involving officers that resulted in the death of an unarmed civilian.

More details that shed light on what led to the freeway shooting were released on Wednesday.

Police in Fontana – where Graziano’s wife Tracy Martinez was killed near an elementary school on Monday – have released some details about the family’s life before the bloodshed.

Anthony Graziano had moved out of the family home a month or two before the murder when the couple divorced. Fontana Sgt. Christian Surgent to The Associated Press. Savannah Graziano went with her father while her younger brother stayed with their mother.

Police issued an Amber Alert after Martinez’s killing, saying Savannah Graziano was kidnapped by her father. Detectives try to find out if she was forced to leave Fontana.

A public information officer with the Fontana Police Department told Eyewitness News that Savannah was in the vehicle when Anthony Graziano shot his wife.

Fontana Police had received no reports of domestic violence at the home prior to this week, Surgent said, and childcare was not involved with the family. Neither parent was on parole or parole at the time, and investigators believe Savannah was homeschooled while living with her father, who police said was fond of camping in his pickup truck in the desert and mountains.

A 911 caller on Tuesday reported seeing the suspect’s Nissan Frontier near Barstow.

Police located the pickup and pursued it on the highway to Hesperia. During the pursuit, Graziano “constantly fired a rifle back at the deputies through the back window of the truck,” San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus said Tuesday during a news conference.

Dicus said there was “some evidence” that Savannah shot MPs during the chase, but gave no details.

A firefight in Hesperia ensued when the truck went off the road and was somehow obstructed, sending dozens of bullets flying. Savannah ran toward the deputies in the chaos – who didn’t realize it was her – and fell to the ground amid the gunfire. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead just before noon.

Her father was found in the driver’s seat and pronounced dead at the scene.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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https://abc7.com/hesperia-shootout-savannah-graziano-shot-at-deputies/12276990/ Hesperia shooting: 15-year-old girl shot deputy before being killed in 15 freeway gun battles, sheriff says

Laura Coffey

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