STOCKTON, Calif. (KGO) --Three people are dead following a violent bank robbery, high-speed chase, and shootout with police in Stockton Wednesday afternoon.
Officials say three robbery suspects held up a Bank of the West branch around 2 p.m. and took three women hostage.
After that, police say the suspects led officers on a high-speed chase up, around, and through Stockton for about an hour. Speeds reached up to 100 miles per hour as the suspects drove on both Highway 99 and Interstate 5. The suspects reportedly fired multiple rounds at officers out of the back of the vehicle they were driving, with what police believe was an AK-47 assault style weapon. The chase came to an end around 3:30 p.m. at Thornton Road and Wagner Heights Road.
All three robbery suspects were shot and two of them were killed. The other suspect is being treated at a local hospital.
Early on in the chase, officials say one hostage was shot and tossed from the car. According to police, the second hostage may have been grazed with gunfire toward the end of the chase and dumped out of the car.
The third hostage, found dead at the shootout scene, is Stockton resident Misty Holt-Singh -- a mother of two. Police said it appeared as though one of the suspects used her as a shield.
Holt-Singh was identified by one of her family members who spoke to ABC7 News outside her Stockton home. Police say they don't know if she was killed by the suspects or police crossfire.
Her cousin, Devin J., says Holt-Singh's 12-year-old daughter was waiting in the car when the bank was robbed. He told ABC7 News, "She was just an innocent bystander going to pull out money. She left her kid in the car, she goes inside, whatever happened happened, her daughter has to text her husband saying, 'Hey, they took Mom.'"
ABC7 News spoke to Holt-Singh's family and they are extremely upset. They believe this all could have been handled much better. It will take an autopsy and ballistics tests to determine exactly how she was killed.
The other hostages were two female bank employees. Police say during the chase the employees either jumped or were thrown from the vehicle while it was traveling around 50 miles per hour.
Witness Autumn Alessio said one of the women was "on the ground. My brother saw her roll over and her leg was all tore up and bleeding. And the fire department wasn't there yet, nobody was there yet for her."
Police say the bank has a history of being robbed and these suspects may be connected to previous robberies.
The Stockton police say the suspects had a lot of ammunition and were continuously shooting at them with assault rifles. Fourteen patrol vehicles were struck, but no officers were injured in the ordeal.
Several homes and vehicles were also hit by gunfire during the chase.