Who Was Savannah Graziano? Kidnapped US Girl Shot Dead By Cops

The incident took place in September 2022.

A 15-year-old girl in California whose father was believed to have kidnapped her in September 2022 was fatally shot by police officers as she followed their command and didn’t appear to be wearing tactical gear, as previously claimed by cops, a new footage shows. According to The Guardian, Savannah Graziano was abducted by her father, Anthony John Graziano, after he allegedly killed his wife and Savannah’s mother on September 27, 2022. An Amber Alert was issued for the 15-year-old after the homicide was discovered. When the deputies found Mr Graziano’s truck, a car chase and a shootout followed, resulting in the deaths of Savannah and her father. 

At the time, police claimed that it was unclear whether the 15-year-old was shot by deputies or her father. They also said that deputies didn’t realise it was her when she got out of the vehicle, and they refused to release the footage of the shooting. 

This incident sparked a national concern, with people questioning how officers wound up killing the unarmed teenage girl they were tasked to rescue. Now, nearly two years after the incident, the department disclosed a dozen video files to the independent journalist Joey Scott. The video, which has also surfaced on social media, shows the deputies shooting at Savannah as she followed their instructions to move towards them. 

As per The Guardian, the clip suggests that police officers shot her after two other cops remarked that it was the girl who exited. It also makes it clear that the deputies and not her father fatally shot the 15-year-old. 

The California Department of Justice is now investigating the case under a law requiring inquiries into police killing of unarmed people. 

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Notably, the search for the 15-year-old started on September 26, 2022, when her father allegedly shot and killed his estranged wife and Savannah’s mother. He reportedly also shot at a father and his child outside a school in nearby Fontana. 

Speaking to the outlet, CJ Wyatt, Savannah’s uncle, said he understood it was a confusing and chaotic situation for officers to manage, but that his niece should not have been shot: “There needs to be better training so that unarmed people aren’t killed. Hopefully this video can be used for training – something has to be done differently. She didn’t have to die”. 

Mr Wyatt also said blame ultimately lay with Savannah’s father, who he described as “abusive and manipulative”. As her parents were separating in the weeks prior, the 15-year-old had been living in her father’s truck. “She was a really sweet girl at her core, and she didn’t deserve this,” he added. 

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