“Savannah shouldn’t have died”: images show kidnapped girl (15) walking towards police, but then accidentally shot dead | Abroad

“Savannah shouldn’t have died”: images show kidnapped girl (15) walking towards police, but then accidentally shot dead | Abroad
“Savannah shouldn’t have died”: images show kidnapped girl (15) walking towards police, but then accidentally shot dead | Abroad
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A fifteen-year-old girl who was kidnapped by her father has been accidentally shot dead by police in California. Helicopter images and audio fragments that have now been released show step by step how the unfortunate mistake could have happened. “Savannah shouldn’t have died,” her uncle CJ Wyatt responds.

The facts took place on September 27, 2022. Until now, it remained unclear to the outside world who was responsible. Did an officer misjudge the situation or was it Savannah’s father who fired the fatal shot during the firefight? The sheriff’s office perpetuated the doubt all along.

Squat for ten seconds

Independent journalist Joey Scott demanded a year and a half ago that the images of the confrontation be released to the general public. He appealed to the California Public Records Act, a legal instrument for citizens to obtain information from higher up. Now he got his shot home.

But what can actually be seen? The police helicopter filmed how suspect Anthony Graziano was stuck on the highway in Hesperia, 130 kilometers east of Los Angeles. As bullets fly, Savannah flees through the passenger side. She crouches for about ten seconds to take cover and then wants to walk to the nearest officer. It is hidden behind a police car. However, at that moment the teenager is shot down.

“Keep walking!”

It is clear from the audio recording that the frontline officer knew Savannah was coming. “Come to me! Keep walking!”, he even urged her several times. However, this realization had not dawned on all colleagues. At least one shot came from his back with fatal consequences for the girl. “Stop! Stop shooting her. He’s still in the car. Stop!”, the officer responded.

Savannah ultimately died from her injuries in the hospital. It is still unclear at this time how many times she was hit. Her father was also killed in the shooting.

Anthony Graziano had murdered his ex (Savannah’s mother; ed.) the day before the facts. © AP

The nerves were tense because Graziano had murdered his ex (Savannah’s mother) a day earlier. He also shot a father and his child at gunpoint.

“Better training needed”

The girl’s uncle understands that it was a very chaotic situation for the police. “But even then, Savannah shouldn’t have died,” CJ Wyatt said. “Police officers need to be better trained so that unarmed people at least have the chance to live. Hopefully these images can make a difference, at least then she didn’t die in vain.”

The biggest mistake obviously lies with Graziano, CJ Wyatt also realizes. “He manipulated and abused my sister. “Tracy was a devoted mother and a hard worker, she did not deserve such an ending,” it said.

New blunder

The San Bernardino County sheriff is now increasingly coming under fire. He claimed the girl was wearing tactical gear and a helmet when she got out of the car, but this cannot be determined from the footage. In addition, he also kept open the possibility “that Savannah herself had shot.” However, doesn’t Shannon Dicus mainly want to save his own skin with these claims?


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In addition, his department made another serious mistake last month. Two police officers were called because a fifteen-year-old boy had punched his sister and was breaking the furniture. Five seconds after the first contact, Ryan Gainer was shot dead, the bodycam footage showed. The boy suffered from autism and was having a tantrum at the time.

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The article is in Dutch

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