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Moment teenager escaping kidnapping shot by police as she crawled to them for help

In Europe
April 03, 2024

An unarmed teenager who had been kidnapped by her killer father was shot dead by police as she crawled towards them for help, newly released footage shows.

In audio from the scene, one officer can be heard begging his colleagues to stop shooting before Savannah Graziano is fatally hit.

Police had earlier put out an amber alert for the 15-year-old who they feared had been abducted by her father Anthony Graziano after he murdered her mother, Tracy Martinez.

Helicopter footage shows the moment San Bernardino county sheriff’s deputies cornered Graziano’s truck on a freeway on Sept 27 2022.

In the clip, Ms Graziano can be seen following a police officer’s instructions by crawling towards him before she is shot by officers.

The Sheriff’s office originally said it was unclear whether Ms Graziano had been shot by the police or her father.

They also said she was wearing tactical gear and they did not realise it was her when she got out of the vehicle.

But footage of the shooting released under the California Public Records Act shows a California Highway Patrol (CHP) official saying: “Girl is out, the girl is out, guys. She’s out on the passenger side.”

She can then be seen crouching on the ground before walking to the police officers.

The sound of gunfire can then be heard before Ms Graziano’s body is blurred and the CHP officer says: “Oh no”.

The department also released audio from one of the deputies on the ground, who can be heard shouting: “Passenger, get out!” as gunfire is heard in the background. The deputy then shouts: “Come to me! Come, come, come … walk, walk, walk.”

He then says: “Hey! Stop! Stop shooting her! He’s in the car!”

Ms Graziano was pronounced dead in hospital. Her father was also killed by officers at the scene.

CJ Wyatt, Ms Graziano’s uncle, told The Guardian: “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.”

He said the audio showed one officer “was really trying to save her”.

He added: “It’s just unfortunate that there was some kind of miscommunication. He clearly knew it was Savannah, so what is the difference between him and the others?

“She was a really sweet girl at her core, and she didn’t deserve this.”

The San Bernardino county sheriff’s office declined a request for comment.

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