A 15-year-old girl fatally shot by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies during a gun battle involving her father Tuesday returned gunfire during the ordeal, the sheriff said.
“Based on the information, evidence suggests that Savannah Graziano was a participant in shooting at our deputies,” Sheriff Shannon D. Dicus said in a 39-second video posted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon. “However, based on the totality of events and the requirements of AB 1506, I have consulted with the California Department of Justice about assuming the primary role for this investigation.”
California law requires the state DOJ to investigate unarmed civilian deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers.
Dicus did not elaborate on the teen’s role in the gunfight, and what led them to the determination. He indicated that if the state DOJ assumes the investigation, any additional information will be released by them. He did not make himself available to questions.
Authorities believed Anthony Graziano had taken his daughter and was on the run following the killing of his estranged wife, Tracy Martinez, in Fontana on Monday.
Amid the manhunt, Anthony Graziano was spotted on the 15 Freeway in Barstow Tuesday morning.
The shooting occurred after a dangerous chase on the freeway, during which Anthony Graziano was shooting at pursuing deputies from the rear window of his Nissan Frontier, officials detailed at a news conference Tuesday.
Anthony Graziano eventually went off road in Hesperia and stopped before exchanging gunfire with authorities. At one point a passenger, later identified as Savannah Graziano, got out while wearing tactical gear and was shot.
She was transported to a hospital, where she later died. Her father was also killed in the shootout.
Authorities had previously said they had only found one weapon at the scene, an AR-15 rifle.