California Man Allegedly Kills Wife, Kidnaps Daughter Before Both Dying In Police Shootout
On Sept. 27, 2022, accused murderer Anthony John Graziano and his teenage daughter were killed in a shootout with law enforcement after a 45-mile chase on a Southern California highway.
Anthony John Graziano and his teen daughter, Savannah Graziano, were killed Sept. 27, 2022, in a shootout with police. The Washington Post reported that the man is suspected of murdering his estranged wife and then kidnapping 15-year-old Savannah.
Fontana Sgt. Christian Surgent told The Associated Press that the day before, on the morning of Sept. 26, 2022, Graziano, 45, was seen picking up his estranged wife, Tracy Martinez, in his Nissan Frontier truck in Fontana, California. It wasn’t clear whether he forced her to get in.
“And immediately that’s when they started arguing and yelling and domestic violence was occurring,” Surgent said.
Martinez, also 45, managed to get out of the truck near an elementary school, but Graziano then allegedly started shooting her with a handgun, according to Surgent. She was shot multiple times during the school’s morning drop-off, and both parents and students had to duck to hide from the violence, according to The Washington Post.
"The man just came down the street shooting. He started shooting in that direction. 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," neighborhood resident Andy Davis told Eyewitness News.
Martinez was taken to the hospital where she died from her injuries. Graziano fled the scene and then picked up Savannah. The former couple also have a son who was apparently at their home and not involved in the shootings in any way.
An Amber Alert was issued for Savannah that included a description of the man’s white 2017 Nissan Frontier. Then, the next day, someone called in a report of Graziano’s truck near Barstow, which is about 70 miles north of Fontana.
When police tried to pull over Graziano, he fled, and a chase ensued from Barstow to Hesperia. ABC 7 reported that multiple gunshots were fired at the police from the rear window as the police pursued the truck. According to The Los Angeles Times, Savannah herself may have shot at police during the chase.
San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus said that, after the truck became disabled, Savannah exited the vehicle wearing tactical gear which included a helmet and a military-style vest. She was shot as she ran towards the police. It’s not yet clear whether she was shot by her father, officers, or both. The Los Angeles Times reported that a preliminary investigation shows that she was likely unarmed as she ran to the police.
ABC 7 reported that Savannah was taken to the hospital, but she was pronounced dead shortly after. Her father was found in the driver’s seat and pronounced dead at the scene. An AR-15-style rifle was found in the truck, but it’s not clear which, if any, other weapons were recovered.
San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus said that one police officer was injured by shrapnel during the shooting.
The California attorney general’s office told The Los Angeles Times that the California Department of Justice has now taken over the investigation into the situation. Under the AB 1506 law, the Justice Department must investigate cases in which “the death to the unarmed civilian is caused by a California peace officer,” according to a bulletin sent last year by Attorney Gen. Rob Bonta.