Crime & Justice

Stockton bank robbery: Police killed chase hostage, chief says

This Wednesday July 16, 2014 image provided by the Stockton Police Department shows the scene of a bank robbery in Stockton, Calif. The chief now says it was police bullets that killed a hostage taken by three bank robbers as they led officers on a chase that led to a running gunbattle.
This Wednesday July 16, 2014 image provided by the Stockton Police Department shows the scene of a bank robbery in Stockton, Calif. The chief now says it was police bullets that killed a hostage taken by three bank robbers as they led officers on a chase that led to a running gunbattle.
AP
This Wednesday July 16, 2014 image provided by the Stockton Police Department shows the scene of a bank robbery in Stockton, Calif. The chief now says it was police bullets that killed a hostage taken by three bank robbers as they led officers on a chase that led to a running gunbattle.
This Thursday, July 17, 2014 booking photo provided by the Stockton Police Department shows Jaime Ramos, 19, who was booked on suspicion of homicide, kidnapping, robbery and attempted murder in a Stockton, Calif. bank robbery that led to a high speed chase. Two other suspects were killed and two of the hostages were wounded during the ensuing chase. The third hostage, who police believe was used as a human shield, was found dead in the SUV after the shootout.
Stockton Police Department/AP
This Wednesday July 16, 2014 image provided by the Stockton Police Department shows the scene of a bank robbery in Stockton, Calif. The chief now says it was police bullets that killed a hostage taken by three bank robbers as they led officers on a chase that led to a running gunbattle.
A police pursuit following a bank robbery in Stockton ended with a gun battle Wednesday afternoon. Police said three people were killed, including a hostage.
NBC Bay Area
This Wednesday July 16, 2014 image provided by the Stockton Police Department shows the scene of a bank robbery in Stockton, Calif. The chief now says it was police bullets that killed a hostage taken by three bank robbers as they led officers on a chase that led to a running gunbattle.
This photo provided by the Stockton Police Department shows a shot tire and firearm from the scene of a bank robbery Wednesday, July 16, 2014, in Stockton, Calif. Robbers fleeing a Stockton, California, bank took three women hostage and threw two of them from their getaway vehicle, as they fired repeatedly at police during a high-speed chase. Police shot out their tires but the shooting continued, fatally wounding two suspects and the last hostage.
Stockton Police Department/AP
This Wednesday July 16, 2014 image provided by the Stockton Police Department shows the scene of a bank robbery in Stockton, Calif. The chief now says it was police bullets that killed a hostage taken by three bank robbers as they led officers on a chase that led to a running gunbattle.
This Wednesday July 16, 2014 image provided by the Stockton Police Department shows a closed sign on a Stockton, Calif. bank after a robbery. Three bank robbers took three women hostage as they made a getaway and waged a high-speed gunbattle with police that left three people dead and cars and homes riddled with bullets, authorities said.
Stockton Police Department/AP


The hostage who died during a bank robbery and chase in Northern California was killed by police, not the suspects, authorities said Monday.

The results of a preliminary ballistics report show that Stockton police fired the bullet or bullets that killed 41-year-old Misty Holt-Singh, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said.

Holt-Singh was found dead at the end of last month's bank robbery and chase, which included a running gunbattle between the three suspects and police before a final shootout.

Police have said the sole surviving suspect, 19-year-old Jaime Ramos, used Holt-Singh as a human shield, but they could not immediately tell whether she died from police gunfire or shots fired by the suspects.

They also did not know when she was killed.

Holt-Singh was among three women the suspects took hostage during the July 16 bank robbery. Holt-Singh was a customer whose 12-year-old daughter was waiting outside in the car. The other two women were bank employees.

A police pursuit and shootout followed when the robbers armed with three handguns and an AK-47 fled with the hostages in an SUV owned by one of the employees. The two bank employees survived the ordeal by either jumping or getting thrown from the SUV as it sped through town during the hourlong chase. Several patrol cars and up to a dozen homes were struck by gunfire as police and the suspects exchanged fire.

Two of the suspects, identified by police as Alex Gregory Martinez, 27, and Gilbert Renteria Jr., 30, and Holt-Singh were found dead at the end of a final gunbattle. Jaime Ramos has been charged with murder.

Investigators say they have linked Martinez to a robbery on Jan. 31 at the same bank branch through surveillance video, witness statements and comparable circumstances.

Police also say they have recovered a dark Buick sedan seen on video dropping off the suspects at the bank. The car had no license plates and had been abandoned in a neighborhood about a 10-minute drive from the bank. Police have been trying to identify the driver.