Video: California police fatally shoot kidnapped teenager

Savannah Graziano, 15, was shot by police while following instructions from an officer to distance herself from her armed father and move towards the officer, the father had fatally injured her mother the previous day.

(AFP/Voz Media) A recently released video shows California police fatally shooting a kidnapped teenager they were supposed to rescue, as part of a chaotic incident recorded on the side of a busy highway.

Savannah Graziano, 15, was shot while following instructions from an officer asking her to get away from her armed father, who had killed her mother the day before.

The events occurred in September 2022, when officers in San Bernardino County, east of Los Angeles, were pursuing a vehicle in which Anthony Graziano, at the wheel, and Savannah, in the passenger seat, were.

Footage from a highway police helicopter shows the truck traveling at about 175 kilometers per hour (108 miles per hour), as several gunshots come from inside in the direction of the officers. They were released in the last few hours by the San Bernardino sheriff's forensic department and we reproduce them issuing a special WARNING FOR THEIR GRAPHIC CONTENT.

The chase ended when Graziano turned onto the road in the wrong direction and the vehicle stopped in an area between the off-ramp and the highway which was surrounded by patrol cars and agents.

The images show the teenager getting out of the van and walking towards an agent, who is heard in another recording calling her. The radio controllers apparently warn him from the helicopter that Savannah is there.

"The girl is outside. The girl is outside, gentlemen. The lady is outside. She is on the passenger side," says one of the operators.

In the images, the teenager crouches for a few seconds before standing up and walking towards a group of police officers.

An apparent shooting is heard on the video and Savannah's figure is blurred in the image as the voice on the radio says "Oh no."

"Come to me! Come, come, come... walk," the audio of an officer on the ground records, while a gunshot is heard.

"Stop! Stop shooting her," he tells his colleagues. "It's in the car!" he says.

The death of the teenager was declared at a local hospital. His father died at the scene. Several weapons and bulletproof equipment were in the truck, along with numerous ammunition, police said.

The names of the officers involved were not released. The California Department of Justice is conducting an investigation.