LOS ANGELES – A 15-year-old girl and her father were killed by San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies Tuesday in a shootout off Interstate 15, authorities said, a day after the man is believed to have fatally shot his wife and abducted his daughter.
Law enforcement had been searching for Anthony Graziano, 45, and his daughter Savannah Graziano after Fontana police and the California Highway Patrol issued an Amber Alert on Monday. Authorities had described Anthony Graziano as “armed and dangerous” and Savannah as a kidnapping victim after her mother was found shot Monday morning in her Fontana home and later died.
The teen was fatally shot by deputies when she ran toward them wearing body armor and a tactical helmet, San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon D. Dicus said Tuesday.
Dicus identified the girl as Savannah, but sheriff’s officials said they were awaiting official confirmation by the coroner.
Authorities would not say whether the girl was armed when she was shot, but Dicus said there were “some indications” that she “may have also been involved in some of the fire exchange” with deputies.
Dicus described a frantic and “highly complex” crime scene in which deputies gave chase while taking fire from the back window of a white pickup truck. The shots at one point disabled a deputy’s patrol vehicle.
The Sheriff’s Department received 911 calls Tuesday morning from people reporting sightings of Graziano or his daughter in Barstow, prompting deputies to try to pull over the truck and sparking a high-speed pursuit, said Brittany Rios, a department spokesperson. Instead of stopping, Graziano fired multiple times at deputies from the rear window of the truck, authorities said.
Deputies chased the truck on Highway 395, then down Highway 58.
“The suspect was firing back at our deputies the entire time,” Dicus said.
The chase continued onto the 15 toward Victorville and Hesperia, with Graziano “constantly shooting.”
At one point, Dicus said, Graziano drove the truck off-road near the intersection with Main Street. Other law enforcement agencies had joined the pursuit by then, and deputies tried to contain the truck in a triangle-shaped area just off the 15, Dicus said. Instead, a gunfight ensued.
It was during the shooting that deputies saw someone wearing body armor and a tactical helmet running toward them, Dicus said.
Deputies opened fire at the person, and after they ran out to render medical aid, they realized it was the 15-year-old girl, Dicus said. Her father was found in the driver’s side of the truck, he said.
Graziano died at the scene, and Savannah was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
One deputy was injured when he was hit in the face with shrapnel, Dicus said.
The Fontana Police Department found Graziano’s wife with multiple gunshot wounds Monday morning near Cypress Avenue and Mallory Drive. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died.
Dicus said officials would be reviewing video from the department’s helicopter over the scene to determine exactly what happened, but it would be at least 24 hours before more information would be available.
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