California Deputies Seen on Video Fatally Shooting Unarmed Kidnapping Victim

Anthony and Savanna Graziano
Anthony and Savanna Graziano Twitter

A teenage girl who had been kidnapped by her father was following a sheriff's deputy's instructions and appeared to be surrendering when other deputies fatally shot her during a gun battle on a Southern California highway, according to recently released footage.

Savannah Graziano, 15, was shot and killed as she ran toward San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies amid a hail of gunfire on Sept. 27, 2022. Her father, 45-year-old Anthony Graziano, was also fatally shot in the shootout.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department released the footage on Friday in response to public records requests made by media outlets. The deputies did not have body-worn cameras, but video footage was recorded by a sheriff's helicopter and witness dashboard cameras.

Anthony Fatally Shot Savannah's Mother, His Estranged Wife a Day Before Fatal Police Shooting

As previously reported, Anthony had fatally shot his estranged wife and Savannah's mother a day before the police shooting. He then kidnapped Savannah, for which an Amber Alert was issued. During the manhunt, deputies received a tip-off of Anthony's location and a pursuit ensued. At one point, multiple shots were fired from the driver's side of Anthony's pickup.

The truck and deputies' vehicles came to a stop on the desert interstate east of Los Angeles in Hesperia and a firefight erupted between deputies and the suspect. Savannah was shot and killed by deputies moments after she exited the vehicle and was running towards deputies, the video shows. Anthony was killed in the shootout.

'Stop Shooting Her!'

A deputy, taking cover behind a sheriff's SUV, repeatedly shouts to her, "Passenger, get out!" and "Come to me, come to me!"

Wearing tactical gear and a helmet, the teenager gets out of the pickup truck from the passenger side and runs toward the deputy, briefly crouching to the ground as he continues to give her commands.

But as she rises from her crouch and starts toward the deputy, others from a higher elevation open fire. The deputy screams: "Stop! Stop shooting her! He's in the car! Stop!"

The deputy's shouts were not broadcast over the radio, the sheriff's department said, but the audio was captured by his belt recorder.

The following video is graphic in nature. Viewer discretion is advised.

For months, officials would not say whether it was her father or the deputies who killed Savannah Graziano. In the new video, the narrator says the Grazianos "were struck by deputy rounds and died of their injuries." Savannah was not armed when she was shot.

The state Department of Justice, which is investigating the shooting, referred media inquiries to their 2022 news release and declined further comment. State law requires the department to review any officer-involved shooting resulting in the death of an unarmed civilian.