A fugitive wanted for the murder of his wife and the kidnapping of his 15-year-old daughter was killed in a shootout with police on the 15 Freeway Tuesday. The teenager was also killed in the crossfire, though authorities have not said who shot her.
The suspect, Anthony John Graziano, was pronounced dead at the scene in Hesperia. He allegedly killed his estranged wife in a domestic violence incident on Monday in Fontana, which resulted in an early Tuesday Amber Alert for Graziano and his child, Savannah Graziano, who authorities believe he kidnapped.
“A deputy-involved shooting occurred and the suspect & passenger were struck by gun fire,” the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department tweeted Tuesday. “The male suspect is deceased at the scene and the female passenger was transported to an area hospital. I-15 at Main St is shut down and is expected to remain closed for scene processing.”
A deputy involved shooting occurred and the suspect & passenger were struck by gun fire. The male suspect is deceased at the scene and the female passenger was transported to an area hospital.
I-15 at Main St is shut down and is expected to remain closed for scene processing.
— San Bernardino County Sheriff (@sbcountysheriff) September 27, 2022
In a press conference later Tuesday, San Bernardino Sheriff Shannon Dicus confirmed that Savannah Graziano, 15, was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead shortly before noon. Dicus also stated that the teen was wearing tactical gear as she ran toward deputies when the shooting began.
The tragedy began with Barstow deputies responding to an Amber Alert at 10:25 a.m. in the areas of Highway 395 and Highway 58, where the suspect vehicle was seen. After an initial pursuit, Dicus said, “The suspect immediately starts firing at our deputies, putting several rounds through the windshield of the patrol unit.”
At that point, Dicus said, the pursuit began again and continued toward Highway 58 and the Inwood area, where it was joined by a second chase car. But the suspect shot the second pursuer “causing the vehicle to become disabled,” according to Dicus.
While Sheriff Dicus confirmed that Savannah Graziano was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, he did not indicate whether the teen was killed by shots from her father or the police. A witness indicated to ABC7, however, that it was Graziano who murdered his child.
“The man just came down the street shooting. He started shooting in that direction,” neighborhood resident Andy Davis told the station as he pointed to where the gunman opened fire. “Hit those trees, houses across the street. They say the bullets were skipping off the street, and the woman was trying to run for her life, and unfortunately, she was hit. Once she was hit I guess he shot at her a few more times.”