A man accused of fatally shooting his wife is dead, along with his 15-year-old daughter, after a shootout with police in California.
Sheriff Shannon Dicus of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said during a press briefing Tuesday that the chain of events began with a homicide; the suspect was identified as Anthony John Graziano.
Authorities believe Graziano had his daughter Savannah, 15, with him after the incident, which led to an Amber Alert being issued by the Fontana Police Department. The alert, which included details on Graziano’s vehicle, was later sent to the California Highway Patrol, Dicus said.
At 10:25 a.m. local time Tuesday, police received a phone call from someone who said they believed they saw Graziano’s car. Barstow deputies arrived to the area, on Highways 395 and 58, and “encountered the suspect vehicle,” Dicus said.
“A pursuit ensued, and as a result of that pursuit, the suspect immediately starts firing at our deputies, putting several rounds through the windshield of the patrol unit,” said Dicus.
He added that the pursuit continued down Highway 58 to I-15 near Glenwood. At that point, a second patrol car arrived.
“The suspect [was] firing back at our deputies the entire time,” Dicus said, adding that the suspect shot the second car, causing it “to become disabled.”
The shootout went further down I-15 near Victorville and Hesperia, where the suspect was “constantly shooting back at the deputies during that period of time.”
Still on I-15, the suspect veered off the road, and multiple patrol cars tried to contain him.
“As a result of that, a fire fight ensued. During that fire fight, the suspect vehicle comes to rest — at which time a suspect exits the passenger side of the vehicle wearing tactical gear,” Dicus said. “That subject starts to run towards Sheriff’s Deputies and during the gun fire goes down.”
Deputies then started to clear the car to “make it safe and render medical aid,” he added.
He said authorities believe the subject was Savannah, and Graziano was in the driver’s seat. Their identities still have to be confirmed with the coroner, Dicus noted.
Savannah was rushed to a local hospital, where she died at 11:52 a.m.
Dicus said the investigation could take a day as authorities sort through the details of the incident.
He later added that it’s possible Savannah participated in the shootout; however, authorities are still confirming whether or not she had a weapon on her.
“The only weapon that we’re able to confirm right now is a rifle taken from the suspect vehicle,” Dicus said.
One deputy was injured during the exchange of gunfire after shell fragments hit his face, the sheriff said.
Footage of the shootout, captured by ABC 7 in Los Angeles, shows deputies running toward a vehicle. A pickup truck, similar to the 2017 white Nissan Frontier described in the CHP’s Amber Alert was also shown on the side of the road with the door open and a flat tire.
Before the Amber Alert was issued, Graziano allegedly shot and killed his wife near a local elementary school, the Fontana Police Department said in a release shared on Facebook Monday.
Officers were called to the area and once on the scene, they saw a woman “suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.” She was taken to the hospital, where she was declared dead.
“The man just came down the street shooting. He started shooting in that direction,” neighbor Andy Davis told ABC 7. “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.”
Cypress Elementary School was put on lockdown during what FPD called “a domestic violence incident.”