Police revealed Thursday that the youngster murdered in the gunfight with police in Southern California was present the day before when her father fatally shot her mother.
Fontana police said that on Monday, Savannah Graziano, then 15 years old, was in the back of her father’s pickup truck when he shot and killed her mother, Tracy Martinez. Evidence from witnesses and two recordings (one from a doorbell and one from an onlooker) reveal that she did not move while her mother yelled.
Sgt. Christian Surgent said of her during a phone interview on Thursday, “She’s simply sitting in the backseat.”
The teenager was allegedly stolen by her father, Anthony Graziano, after authorities claimed she was not present when her mother was murdered. Two recordings retrieved by police on Wednesday, however, allegedly showed her inside the truck for 30-60 seconds before the shooting started.
Surgent claimed that no one saw Savannah leave the car as Martinez tried to flee and her estranged husband, Graziano, got out with a weapon.
45-year-old Graziano fired several shots at Martinez before turning and firing at a passing automobile. Nobody else was wounded.
According to Surgent, Martinez was able to name her killer, Graziano, before she passed away, although she never acknowledged her daughter’s presence. Neither clip depicted the actual gunfire.
A day later, in Hesperia, 35 miles (56.33 kilometers) north of the killing scene, Savannah and her father were gunned down following a protracted chase along a desert freeway east of Los Angeles. When Graziano’s pickup truck ran out of gas and skidded off the highway, he got out and started shooting at the officers who were chasing him. Authorities said the shooter disabled a second automobile that was pursuing the first and blasted several bullets through the patrol car’s glass.
Savannah, armed with tactical gear and a helmet, was shot and killed by deputies as she ran toward them from the truck, while Graziano was killed in the truck itself. Whether she was shot by officers, her father, or both is a mystery that law enforcement is working to unravel.
According to the Los Angeles Times, initial evidence suggests that Savannah was unarmed when she was fatally shot.
Since a young person was killed in the shooting, the state attorney general is looking into the incident. Meanwhile, Fontana police haven’t figured out what prompted the murder.
Graziano and his daughter had moved out of the family home in Fontana, so investigators later investigated the storage facility he had been using and the home. Surgent claimed that a large quantity of firearms (including AR-15s) as well as handguns, thousands of rounds of ammo, smoke grenades, and other tactical equipment were discovered inside the storage pod.
Graziano had no restrictions on his gun ownership because he was not on probation or parole. It was revealed by Savannah’s younger brother to investigators that the family had a history of firearms ownership.
Police have claimed to have footage of the motorway firefight, but neither that footage nor the two that showed Savannah in the pickup truck before her mother was slain have been released to the public.