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San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus responds to the release of video of a teen’s shooting

San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus is defending both his actions and those of his deputies following new revelations and video that surfaced this week regarding the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old girl by deputies in Hesperia in 2022.

New video and audio recordings became public Monday showing the fatal shootings of Savannah Graziado and her father, Anthony Graziado, by sheriff’s deputies on Nov. 27, 2022, along Highway 15 in Hesperia.

More: New video released of fatal 2022 shooting of 15-year-old girl by officers in Hesperia

The video and audio recordings show that officers fatally shot Savannah Graziano when she followed a deputy’s commands and attempted to surrender during a shootout between officers and Anthony Graziano following a vehicle chase.

“Stop shooting… Stop,” a deputy can be heard shouting at fellow deputies as they continued to direct gunfire at Savannah Graziano’s body. ‘She’s fine, he’s in the car. Stop.’

Savanna Graziano, 15, was fatally shot along with her father, Anthony Graziano, 45, by San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department deputies on November 27, 2022.

Savanna Graziano, 15, was fatally shot along with her father, Anthony Graziano, 45, by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies on November 27, 2022.

An Amber Alert had been issued for Savannah Graziano after her father apparently kidnapped her on Nov. 26, 2022, after fatally shooting her mother in Fontana Sheriff’s Office and Fontana Police Department officials at the time.

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Authorities have not said how many times she was shot or by how many officers.

After the Sheriff’s Department declined to comment on the video on Monday, Sheriff Dicus released a written statement Tuesday evening addressing the shooting.

“Immediately following the incident, I shared preliminary information and answered questions from the media to maintain transparency throughout the process,” Dicus said. “However, I have transferred the investigation to the Department of Justice pursuant to Assembly Bill 1506.”

San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus discusses the fatal shooting of Savannah Graziano, 15, in a video posted to social media on November 28, 2022.San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus discusses the fatal shooting of Savannah Graziano, 15, in a video posted to social media on November 28, 2022.

San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus discusses the fatal shooting of Savannah Graziano, 15, in a video posted to social media on November 28, 2022.

The video’s release was delayed due to a “ransomware attack that delayed the provision of requested information to DOJ,” Discus said. The reported cyberattack occurred in April 2023, five months after the deputy-involved shooting.

“As of March 29, 2024, all requested information has been provided,” Dicus said.

“My hope is that this video will be viewed in its entirety and provide insight into the unfortunate events that unfolded that day,” he said. “There has been speculation and misrepresentation about this matter, and I would ask the public to allow the DOJ to complete its independent investigation before reaching a conclusion.”

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Sheriff’s officials have previously declined to say whether Savannah Graziano was killed by officers’ bullets or her father’s.

However, sheriff’s officials reported she was wearing a tactical helmet and body armor when she was fatally shot.

The day after the shooting, Dicus released a video statement saying that “there is evidence” that Savannah Graziano fired a gun at officers during the chase that preceded her death.

“However, based on the totality of events and the requirements of Assembly Bill 1506, I have consulted with the California Department of Justice about assuming the primary role for this investigation,” he said.

Despite the initial Amber Alert, Fontana Police Department officials expressed doubts about whether Savannah Graziano was actually a kidnapping victim in the aftermath of the fatal Hesperia shooting.

“Did she go willingly?” Fontana Sgt. Christian Surgent told The Associated Press. ‘Or was she really kidnapped? We haven’t been able to prove that yet.”

The DOJ investigation into the shooting remains ongoing and a public report will be filed once it is completed, the California attorney general’s office said.

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This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: San Bernardino County Sheriff responds to fatal video recordings of teens

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