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Harrowing helicopter footage shows unarmed teen kidnapping victim being shot to death by cops: Here’s what went down

As police violence continues to perpetuate its horrors, new video evidence from a yesteryear crime case has shone the light on another victim of these killings. A recently surfaced grisly helicopter footage shows Savannah Graziano, a reported 15-year-old kidnapping victim, during her last moments. The police killed the already trauma-stricken teenager on September 27, 2022, as she sought relief after being abducted by her own father, Anthony John Graziano.

Savannah Graziano death: New footage has showed California cops fatally shooting a 15-year-old unarmed kidnapping victim (City of Fontana Police Department).

In the clip, the young girl is spotted crawling on her hands after escaping her kidnapper father from the truck. Getting on the ground, she started to walk towards the deputies for help, who then started dropping heavy fire at the truck.

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As the deputies saw someone leaving the vehicle, they kept at it and didn’t halt their firing. As she got out of the pickup truck, the belt recording from the officer closest to Savannah was heard calling out to her to come to him. However, the other officers presumably didn’t catch that Savannah had exited the vehicle. They merely noticed someone coming out of it. The heated confusion cost the teen girl her life.

Despite the deputy closest to her pleading with others to stop shooting, his call was brushed aside. He’s heard guiding his colleagues that her father was in the car. Yet, to no avail – they continued firing towards the truck, paying no heed to the girl who needed a helping hand.

The footage clearly depicts Savannah complying with the officers’ instructions, which is when she came out of the vehicle and started crawling towards them. The shootout went down along the 15 freeway in Hesperia, California. In the heat of the moment and despite the deputy’s urging pleas to “Stop shooting her,” the 15-year-old succumbed to her fate. The clipping accordingly blurs out her body as tragedy strikes. Only when she falls to the ground is an officer heard regretfully exclaiming, “Oh no.”

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The horrifying footage was released on Monday upon journalists’ request under the California Public Records Act. Cops’ initial claims stated that Savannah was gunned down because she was wearing tactical gear and shot at the deputies. However, the surfaced video proves differently. Though her outfit remains unclear in the footage, she appears unarmed.

She was pronounced dead at the scene, becoming another unfortunate example of unarmed people dying at the hands of authorities. Savannah’s uncle, CY Wyatt, blamed her “abusive and manipulative” father, asserting “she didn’t deserve this.”

According to https://policeviolencereport.org/, at least 1,201 people were killed by the police in the US in 2022. These stats eventually shot up in 2023, with at least 1,247 succumbing to gun violence. The 2022 Police Violence Report also shows, “Officers were charged with a crime in only 12 of these cases” – 1% of all police killings.

How did the authorities find Savannah Graziano?

An Amber alert for Savannah was issued on September 26, 2022, after her father had killed his estranged wife, Tracy Martinez. He reportedly also shot at a man and his child outside a Fontana school.

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A civilian spotted her with her father thereafter, and the authorities followed through quickly. Officers from San Bernadino County attempted to pull over Anthony’s truck before 11 am. However, he soon opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon, according to the sheriff’s department. A high-speed chase ensued for about 70 miles. The police claimed her to be “a participant in shooting at our deputies.”

About 80 miles from downtown Los Angeles, the lengthy chase halted. The video from the sheriff’s department helicopter shows Savannah’s father reversing the car, as more shootout scenes follow before the unfortunate scene breaks out. Read more here.

The California Department of Justice is investigating the incident under a law that states police embroiled in such killings are required to be named publicly.

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