Authorities say the California teenager who died after allegedly firing several rounds at deputies had apparently seen his father kill his mother the day before.
Fontana police initially believed 15-year-old Savannah Graziano was abducted by her father Anthony, who was also killed in Tuesday’s shooting. An Amber Alert was issued for Savannah’s disappearance, but detectives in California are now questioning the abduction theory after it emerged she was likely involved in the shooting with her father.
On Monday, Anthony Graziano, 45, shot his estranged wife, Tracy Martinez, multiple times before firing into a nearby car. Anthony and Savannah had recently moved out of Martinez’s home.
Officers now believe Savannah was sitting in the back of her father’s truck when he fatally shot her mother. Martinez identified her husband as her killer shortly before he died, but did not say her daughter was present.
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Witnesses and videos corroborate that the teenager remained still while his mother screamed. The footage showed Savannah sitting inside Anthony’s truck for 30 to 60 seconds before the shooting began, and the teenager did not get out of the vehicle once the shots started.
“She’s just sitting in the back seat,” said Sgt. Christian Surgent told the Associated Press.
The day after the murder, a witness saw Savannah’s father’s vehicle and alerted authorities, prompting a lengthy car chase down a desert interstate with deputies. Shots were fired from a rifle at Anthony’s pickup truck, but his car was eventually disabled after it ran off the road.
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A shooter from his car also fired several rounds through the windshield of a patrol car and disabled another vehicle that was chasing him.
Anthony was killed in the truck, but Savannah was killed when she ran toward officers during the shootout. The teenager was wearing a helmet and tactical gear at the time.
Authorities found tactical gear, rifles, handguns, smoke grenades and thousands of rounds of ammunition in Anthony Graziano’s legally owned storage unit. Savannah’s younger brother told investigators that he and Savannah grew up around guns.
Authorities are determining whether officers or her father fatally shot Savannah.
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Police have not released footage of the shooting amid the investigation, which is being assisted by the California Department of Justice.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.