California murder suspect and teenage daughter killed in shootout
An abducted 15-year-old girl and her father, who was wanted over the death of the teenager’s mother, have both died following a shootout with police in California’s high desert.
It is not immediately clear if Savannah Graziano was shot by the responding deputies or her father.
Anthony John Graziano, 45, had allegedly killed his estranged wife the day before and abducted their daughter.
Investigators had issued an Amber Alert after Graziano fled. He was described as armed and dangerous.
An emergency caller reported seeing the suspect’s Nissan Frontier around Barstow, according to the sheriff’s department.
Deputies located the pickup truck and chased it on the highway for around 45 miles.
Throughout the chase, Graziano – and possibly also his daughter – was “constantly shooting back at the deputies” through the truck’s rear window, San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus said.
The gunman put several rounds through a patrol car’s windshield and later disabled a second pursuing vehicle, the sheriff said.
The pickup truck became disabled on the shoulder of a highway in the city of Hesperia, and the firefight ensued.
Sheriff Dicus said the girl was wearing tactical gear as she exited a truck’s passenger side and ran towards the sheriff’s deputies.
She fell to the ground amid the gunfire.
The deputies did not initially realise it was the girl who was running toward them, Sheriff Dicus said, because she was wearing a helmet and a military-style vest that can hold armoured plates.
She was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Her father was found in the driver’s seat and pronounced dead at the scene. A rifle was found inside the car.
One deputy was injured by shrapnel during the firefight, Sheriff Dicus said.
Graziano allegedly killed Tracy Martinez, 45, on Monday morning in a domestic violence event in the city of Fontana, near San Bernardino, according to Fontana police.
Family members told investigators that the couple had been going through a divorce. Ms Martinez was rushed to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Fontana is about 35 miles south of Hesperia, on the other side of the San Gabriel Mountains.
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