Officer Screamed ‘Stop Shooting Her’ While Police Killed Unarmed Teen After Car Chase

404 Media has obtained newly released video and audio material related to the 2022 killing of Savannah Graziano.
Officer Screamed ‘Stop Shooting Her’ While Police Killed Unarmed Teen After Car Chase
Image: 404 Media.
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Content warning: The video and audio in this article shows police shooting a teenager, which some readers may find distressing.

A California law enforcement deputy told an unarmed 15-year-old girl to walk toward him, and screamed for his fellow officers not to shoot her, immediately before they shot and killed her, video and audio material obtained by 404 Media shows. The widely publicized 2022 incident happened at the end of a chaotic, high-speed car chase in which Savannah Graziano and her father, Anthony Graziano, were killed by police in the ensuing firefight. 

“Come here! Come to me, come to me!” the officer shouts in a belt recording. In an accompanying aerial surveillance video, Savannah is then seen walking towards the deputy. Gunfire continues, and officers positioned at a different angle shoot Savannah.

The audio shows that the officer screamed for his fellow officers to stop shooting at her: “STOP! STOP shooting her!,” he screamed, adding that the girl’s father, who was wanted for killing the girl’s mother, was still in the car. “He’s in the car, stop! She’s OK! He’s in the car! Stop!”

404 Media is publishing video and audio material of the incident we obtained through a public records request with the San Bernardino County Sheriff because it provides insight into what went wrong in this killing of an unarmed teenager. Some of the material is embedded below, while the full archive can be found here.


A surveillance video.

A day before the car chase, police issued an Amber Alert for Savannah after Anthony Graziano killed Savannah’s mother. In the immediate aftermath of the car chase and the shooting, the San Bernardino County Sheriff stated that Savannah shot at police out of the window of her father’s truck. Police also suggested that she was not actually “abducted,” but had perhaps “gone willingly” with her father after he shot and killed her mother. Subsequent reporting found that Savannah had seen her father murder her mother, and that she was unarmed when police shot and killed her.

The San Bernardino Sun reported shortly after the incident that San Bernardino County Sheriff deputies were not wearing body cams at the time. This was despite promises that the devices would be deployed by that time, the paper added. At the time of that report and other early reporting, it wasn’t yet clear whether Savannah was attempting to flee or threatening the deputies. 

The footage obtained by 404 Media includes police helicopter footage of the car chase, the shooting, and its immediate aftermath; surveillance footage from a nearby convenience store in which a shop worker identified Savannah from the Amber Alert and called 911 to alert authorities of their whereabouts; and a “Critical Incident Video” summary created by the Sheriff-Coroner of San Bernardino County that attempts to explain the incident. 


A summary video.

The videos show a highly chaotic scene and highlights that someone within the Graziano vehicle exchanged gunfire with police before police ultimately stopped the vehicle. The summary video suggests police are still unsure who fired shots from the vehicle, though one witness said that they saw gunfire from the passenger-side window. The video summary of the event states that this “is an indication of what may have happened, not confirmation. This aspect of the incident is still under investigation.”

Police on the helicopter radio can be heard clearly identifying the moment when Savannah exited her father’s vehicle: “female juvie is out. She’s out on the passenger’s side.”


The belt audio.

On the ground, newly released audio now clearly shows that a law enforcement officer beckoned Savannah to come over away from the vehicle before other officers shot her. 

A disclaimer on the belt audio says “audio from a deputy’s belt recorder is not broadcast over the radio,” meaning that the other officers may not have heard the officials calls for Savannah to walk over to him. 

We requested the footage in September 2022, shortly after the incident occurred. For years the San Bernardino County Sheriff declined to release the footage, saying it was part of an active investigation, up until as recently as January. At the end of March the agency provided the requested records. The San Bernardino County Sheriff declined to comment.