STOCKTON - Stockton police said a second suspect has died after a bank robbery and gun battle that led to the death of a hostage.
Police said in all, three people were dead in Wednesday's violence, which included a high-speed chase that left cars and houses riddled with bullets shot from an "AK-47-style rifle."
The incident began when three people robbed a Bank of the West branch at Hammer Lane and Thornton Road and took three women hostage -- a bank customer and two bank employees. Police said the robbers stole a bank employee's SUV and led dozens of police cars on a high-speed chase that lasted about 45 minutes.
During the chase, two hostages -- both bank employees -- were thrown or jumped from the vehicle: one suffered a gunshot wound and the other had a bullet graze. Both were taken to hospital to be treated for their injuries and were expected to survive.
As the SUV came to a stop near Otto Road and Thornton Drive around 3:20 p.m., officers exchanged gunfire with someone inside the vehicle. All three suspects were wounded in the shootout.
The third hostage, identified as 41-year-old Misty Holt Singh, was visiting the bank as a customer when she was abducted by the robbers. Singh's 12-year-old daughter was waiting in the car for her mother when the bank was robbed.
Singh was found dead inside of the SUV due to gunfire, Stockton police said. Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said she was used as a human shield during the fire fight, but it was unclear who shot her.
A suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. The second suspect was taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. A third suspect was taken to the hospital for medical treatment and was expected to survive.
No officers were injured during the incident.
Dozens of law enforcement vehicles chased down suspects holding three people hostage after a bank robbery. Witnesses to the police chase talk about what they saw. (Wednesday, July 16, 2014) News10
News10 provided live updates as the story was developing
UPDATE 8:14 p.m.: A second bank robbery suspect died because of gunshot wounds sustained during a chase with police, the Stockton Police tweeted.
UPDATE 5:04 p.m.: News10's Gabriel Roxas reported that the vehicle involved in the chase was stolen from an employee at the Bank of the West on Thornton Road in Stockton, which the suspects allegedly robbed.
UPDATE 4:53 p.m.: News10's Gabriel Roxas confirmed that all three suspects were shot. One has died, two were taken to the hospital.
UPDATE 4:38 p.m.: In a televised report, a Stockton police spokesman said two people have died: a suspect and a hostage. One hostage was struck by gunfire and thrown from the vehicle. Two other suspects were taken to the hospital. There were a total of three hostages, all females. There also were three suspects, all Latino males. Multiple police squad cars and residential properties were struck by gunfire.
UPDATE 4 p.m.: A Stockton police spokesman said there were at least two suspects in the car that was being chased as well as at least two hostages. One of the hostages was shot, then released. The second hostage was released just before the pursuit ended, the spokesman said. The condition of the hostages or the suspects was not immediately available.
UPDATE 3:51 p.m.: A Stockton police spokesman said a hostage was shot during the chase. Aerial video from Sky10 showed a person flanked by officers being led to a police vehicle with his hands behind his back. The chase ended on Thornton Road between Hammer and 8 Mile roads.
UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: A Stockton police spokesman said the pursuit may have ended at Thornton Road and Otto Drive. Multiple shots were fired. No movement in suspect vehicle. Officers are preparing to clear the vehicle.
UPDATE: 3:20 p.m.: Suspects have come to a stop at Thornton and Wagner Heights roads, according to the police scanner.
UPDATE 3:16 p.m.: The chase has moved onto Balboa and Portola avenues, off of the main roads.
UPDATE 3:13 p.m.: Suspects are eastbound on Hammer Lane near Pershing Avenue.
UPDATE 3:06 p.m.: Suspects are shooting at police. Officers believe an AK-47-style weapon is being used. The suspects have one hostage, police said.
UPDATE 3:00 p.m.: The chase has reportedly moved to northbound Interstate 5. The suspect vehicle is north of Highway 12. Reload this post for the latest.
UPDATE 2:52 p.m. The chase has reportedly moved to Hammer Lane in Stockton.
There is a high-speed police pursuit underway in the area of Highway 99 and north Stockton.
Police are pursuing a blue Ford Expedition being driven by alleged bank robbers.
Shots have been fired at officers, Stockton police Officer Joe Silva said.
The robbery was at Bank of the West in north Stockton at Hammer Lane and Thornton Road.