Una salvaje persecución a lo largo de 70 millas y un tiroteo, termina con padre e hija muertos

Las autoridades habían estado buscando a Anthony Graziano y a su hija adolescente Savannah, durante casi 24 horas cuando su camioneta Nissan Frontier fue vista el martes por la mañana cerca de Barstow.

Graziano era sospechoso del asesinato de su esposa de quien estaba separado, y las autoridades habían emitido una Alerta Amber para su hija, temiendo por su seguridad.

Los agentes del sheriff del condado de San Bernardino localizaron a la pareja cerca del cruce de las carreteras 395 y 58 y la siguieron. Fue el comienzo de una persecución de 70 millas salpicada de disparos que terminó con el padre y la hija muertos.

Los agentes trataron de detener la camioneta, pero se enfrentaron a repetidos disparos, dijo el sheriff del condado de San Bernardino, Shannon Dicus.

“El sospechoso inmediatamente comienza a disparar a nuestros agentes, disparando varias rondas a través del parabrisas de la unidad de patrulla”, dijo, agregando que un coche patrulla quedó inhabilitado por los disparos.

No está claro cuántos disparos se hicieron, y Dicus dijo que los investigadores estaban revisando varias millas de lo que se consideraba una escena del crimen.

Las autoridades dijeron el miércoles que dos órdenes de registro en una casa y un almacén vinculados a Graziano dieron lugar a la incautación de “numerosos” rifles de estilo AR-15, pistolas, munición, granadas de humo, “equipo de supervivencia” y chalecos antibalas. Las armas eran de propiedad legal, según la policía.

También el miércoles, Dicus anunció que “las pruebas sugieren que Savannah Graziano también participó en los disparos contra nuestros agentes”, pero no dio detalles.

Dicus dijo que Graziano continuó disparando a los agentes que le perseguían mientras conducía hacia Hesperia. Fue cerca de Main Street que Graziano se salió de la carretera y las fuerzas del orden trataron de contener al hombre de 45 años cerca de una rampa de salida.

El vídeo de un transeúnte captó parte del caos mientras los agentes se ponían a cubierto en el paso elevado que había delante, y se escuchaba un disparo tras otro.

Durante el tiroteo, la pasajera -identificada más tarde como Savannah, de 15 años- salió corriendo hacia los agentes, que llevaban un chaleco antibalas y un casco táctico, y recibió un disparo, según Dicus. Su padre también fue encontrado muerto en el lado del conductor de la camioneta, con un rifle estilo AR-15 cerca, dijeron las autoridades.

Aún no está claro si Savannah iba armada cuando corrió hacia los agentes. Los funcionarios del sheriff han confirmado que recuperaron un rifle de la camioneta, pero se negaron a decir si se recuperaron otras armas. El miércoles, Dicus dijo que el departamento iba a remitir la investigación al Departamento de Justicia de California para ver si cumplía los requisitos de la ley AB 1506, que exige que la agencia estatal investigue los disparos de civiles desarmados en los que intervienen agentes.

Eso podría sugerir que Savannah estaba desarmada en el momento de su muerte, pero las autoridades sólo dicen que si la investigación cumple con los requisitos del proyecto de ley, la agencia estatal se hará cargo de la investigación.

Las autoridades dicen que Graziano había estado huyendo desde el lunes por la mañana, después de disparar y matar a su esposa, Tracy Martínez.

Los testigos escucharon el sonido de más de una docena de disparos que rasgaron el aire de la mañana en una tranquila calle de Fontana, a pocos pasos de una escuela primaria.

“Pensé que eran petardos”, dijo Juan Moreno, de 59 años, que vive con su mujer en la casa de al lado del tiroteo. “Se asomó a la ventana y vio que el tipo iba en reversa en su camioneta muy rápido”.

La pareja estaba separada y se estaba divorciando, dijo el sargento de Fontana Christian Surgent, pero la policía no había sido llamada previamente a la casa por incidentes domésticos o violentos.

Los registros judiciales muestran que ni Martínez ni Graziano habían iniciado un proceso de divorcio.

Tras el asesinato de Martínez, Graziano huyó y las autoridades creen que se llevó a su hija de 15 años.

Lo que los detectives de la policía de Fontana no sabían en ese momento era que Savannah había decidido en algún momento del último mes vivir con su padre en lugar de con su madre y su hermano menor, saltando de moteles y hoteles locales a vivir en la camioneta y acampar en parques locales, dijo Surgent.

Los dos parecían estar preparados para acampar en los parques de la zona.

En Fontana, los vecinos y familiares de Martínez trataban de entender lo sucedido.

Cuatro miembros de la familia llegaron a la puerta de su casa el miércoles por la mañana y declinaron hacer comentarios.

Antes de la violencia, toda la familia solía visitar una iglesia en Hesperia.

“Toda la familia venía”, dijo Greg Pounds, pastor principal de la iglesia Connecting Point en Hesperia. “Los conocemos desde hace muchos años. Todavía estamos tratando de entender lo que ocurrió”.

Pounds dijo que habían dejado su iglesia y que últimamente asistían a los servicios en Rialto.

“Nuestra comunidad está tan conmocionada como todo el mundo”, dijo. “Estamos tratando de asimilarlo todo momento a momento”.

Para leer esta nota en inglés haga clic aquí

Este artículo fue publicado por primera vez en Los Angeles Times en Español.

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