Teenage girl killed in police shootout after watching dad kill her mum

A teenage girl who was killed in a police shootout alongside her father witnessed her mum die the day before.

On Monday, 15-year-old Savannah Graziano was in the back of her father's truck when he gunned down her mother, Tracy Martinez.

It was previously believed Savannah was somewhere else during her mother's killing and her father, Anthony Graziano, abducted her. However, it has since been confirmed she was there at the scene of the crime.

Video taken at the scene shows Savannah stayed still in the backseat while her mother screamed.

Footage indicated she was inside the truck just seconds before the gunfire started. Witnesses did not see her leaving the vehicle as Ms Martinez tried to escape, and her estranged husband held her at gunpoint.

Savannah Graziano witnessed her mother's death just days before she and her father were killed. Source: Associated Press
Savannah Graziano witnessed her mother's death just days before she and her father were killed. Source: Associated Press

After Savannah's mother was killed, an Amber Alert was issued for the 15-year-old and police were unsure as to whether she was abducted or if she voluntarily went with her father.

"Did she go willingly? Or was she actually abducted? We haven't been able to prove that just yet," Fontana police Sgt. Christian Surgent said, according to ABC7.

Woman seen 'running for her life'

Before her death, Ms Martinez was seen getting into Graziano's truck. It is unclear if she got in on her own or not.

Soon after, the two started yelling. When Ms Martinez got out of the truck, her estranged husband started shooting at her with a handgun. This happened near a school during the morning drop-off period, ABC7 reported.

Andy Davis witnessed Graziano come running down the street shooting.

"They say the bullets were skipping off the street, and the woman was trying to run for her life, and unfortunately she was hit," Mr Davis told ABC7.

"Once she was hit I guess he shot at her a few more times."

Anthony John Graziano was the sole suspect in the killing of his estranged wife. Source: City of Fontana Police Department via AP
Anthony John Graziano was the sole suspect in the killing of his estranged wife. Source: City of Fontana Police Department via AP

Graziano, 45, shot Martinez multiple times and also turned and fired on a nearby car. No one else was hurt.

Martinez was able to identify her killer as Graziano before she died but never mentioned her daughter being there.

Just months ago, Graziano had moved out of the family's home as he and Ms Martinez were going through a divorce. Savannah had gone with her father, while her younger brother had stayed with their mum, ABC7 reported.

Father and daughter involved in police shootout

On Tuesday in the desert east of Los Angeles, Graziano and Savannah were killed in a shootout with law enforcement officers on a highway, following a 72km chase.

Police shot at Graziano's pickup truck during the pursuit.

Once the vehicles came to a stop, Savannah got out of the car and ran toward deputies, wearing a tactical helmet and vest, during a hail of gunfire.

It wasn't clear if she was shot by deputies or her father, or both. Graziano died in the truck.

After processing the crime scene overnight, police established there was evidence to suggest Savannah "was a participant in the shooting", San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus said in an update.

Law enforcement vehicles surrounded the vehicle driven by Anthony John Graziano, 45, following a gun battle with the man near Main Street on the 15 freeway in Victorville Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022.
Anthony John Graziano and his 15-year-old daughter were killed following a pursuit. Source: Inland Valley Daily Bulletin via Getty Images

The California Department of Justice is reviewing the teen’s death under a state law requiring the agency to investigate police shootings involving the death of unarmed civilians.

Meanwhile, detectives in Fontana still have not determined a motive for the slaying of Ms Martinez.

More details emerge about family

Before this week, there had been no reports of domestic violence from the family's home in Fontana. Child services had also never been involved with the family.

Neither Graziano nor Ms Martinez were on probation or parole at the time and it is believed Savannah was being homeschooled while she lived with her father.

Police said Graziano liked to camp out in the desert and mountains in his pickup truck.

Investigators have searched the family's home, which the father and daughter left just weeks prior. Authorities also searched Graziano's storage unit.

Inside, authorities found numerous AR-15-style rifles, handguns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, smoke grenades and other tactical gear.

The firearms were legally owned by Graziano. Savannah's younger brother told investigators that he and his sister grew up around guns.

with Associated Press

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