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Fatal shootout leads to traffic delays on I-15 in California

Updated September 27, 2022 - 6:20 pm

LOS ANGELES — An abducted 15-year-old girl and her father — a fugitive wanted in the death of the teen’s mother — were both killed amid a shootout with law enforcement Tuesday on a highway in California’s high desert, authorities said.

San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus did not specify whether Savannah Graziano was shot by the responding deputies. Deputies had been in pursuit of the father’s pickup truck, and multiple shots were fired out of the rear window during the chase.

The vehicle became disabled around Hesperia, and the firefight ensued. Dicus said the girl was wearing tactical gear as she exited a truck’s passenger side and ran toward the sheriff’s deputies. The deputies did not initially realize it was the girl who was running toward them, Dicus said, because she was wearing a helmet and a military-style vest that can hold armored plates.

She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly before noon.

Her father, 45-year-old Anthony John Graziano, was found in the driver’s seat and pronounced dead at the scene. A rifle was found inside the car.

Graziano allegedly killed Tracy Martinez, 45, on Monday in a domestic violence incident in the city of Fontana, about 35 miles south of Hesperia, according to Fontana police Sgt. Chris Surgent. Family members told investigators that the couple had been going through a divorce.

Investigators had issued an Amber Alert after Graziano fled with his daughter. He had been described as armed and dangerous.

On Tuesday, a 911 caller reported seeing the Nissan Frontier in Barstow, according the sheriff’s department.

In the original killing, officers had responded at around 7:30 a.m. Monday to reports of gunfire, and found the victim with multiple gunshot wounds at a home, police said in a statement. Martinez was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Tuesday’s crime scene caused major backups along Interstate 15.

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