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California police shoots teen they were supposed to rescue, video reveals

Written by  Annesha Barua -- April 03rd 2024 02:50 PM
California police shoots teen they were supposed to rescue, video reveals

California police shoots teen they were supposed to rescue, video reveals

PTC News Desk: Newly unveiled footage depicts the tragic culmination of events as US police fatally shoot a kidnapped teenage girl they had been tasked with rescuing, amidst a tumultuous incident on a bustling California highway.

Savannah Graziano, a 15-year-old, met her untimely demise as law enforcement officers engaged in a pursuit with her father, Anthony Graziano, who was armed and had previously murdered Savannah's mother before abducting her. The harrowing incident unfolded in September 2022 in San Bernardino County, located east of Los Angeles, as officers initiated a pursuit of the vehicle being driven by Anthony Graziano, with Savannah in the passenger seat.

Recordings captured by a California Highway Patrol helicopter and subsequently released to the public showcase the high-speed chase, with gunfire exchanged between officers and Anthony Graziano from within the vehicle. The pursuit concluded after Graziano recklessly drove the wrong way up a freeway entrance ramp, eventually coming to a halt on scrubland, surrounded by a fleet of police vehicles.

Video Shows California Police Shooting Teen They Were Supposed To Rescue.jpg

Subsequent footage reveals Savannah emerging from the vehicle and approaching an officer, as indicated by radio communications from the helicopter crew. Tragically, amidst the chaos, gunfire erupts, resulting in Savannah being fatally wounded. The officer on the ground can be heard desperately calling her over before realising the dire mistake.

Despite efforts to intervene, Savannah succumbed to her injuries after being transported to a local hospital. Meanwhile, her father was pronounced dead at the scene. The pickup truck harboured multiple weapons, body armor, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, highlighting the gravity of the situation.

The identities of the officers involved have not been disclosed, and an investigation into the incident is being conducted by California's Department of Justice (DOJ). Sheriff Shannon Dicus of San Bernardino County emphasised the department's commitment to transparency, urging the public to await the DOJ's findings before forming conclusions.

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This release of footage comes shortly after another tragic incident involving the same sheriff's department, wherein deputies fatally shot a 15-year-old autistic boy during a mental health crisis. These events underscore ongoing scrutiny surrounding police use of force in the United States, amid a landscape of frequent violent encounters between law enforcement and civilians.

Firearms-related fatalities continue to plague the nation, with more than 1,100 individuals shot dead by officers nationwide over the past year, as reported by the Washington Post. The prevalence of guns in American society contributes to tens of thousands of deaths annually, underscoring the urgent need for comprehensive reform measures.

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(Inputs from agencies)



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