A California bank robbery ended badly on Wednesday following a high-speed car chase. Hostages were taken, and three people died.
The incident took place at around 2 p.m. after police officers were called to a bank robbery at a ‘Bank of the West’ branch in north Stockton. When the officers arrived they saw three men taking female hostages at gunpoint.
The robbers then allegedly stole an SUV belonging to an employee of the bank and the officers gave chase. This lasted nearly an hour and spread across several miles. One of the hostages was forcefully thrown from the SUV and subsequently taken to hospital with a gunshot wound.
The men in the SUV continuously shot at officers in fourteen police cars with AK-47 rifles. Many homes in the local area were sprayed with bullets during the long and dangerous car chase.
Police Chief Eric Jones spoke at a press conference about the California bank robbery: “It was such a chaotic… fluid situation, really one of the most dangerous, tense situations that a police officer could go through. There was a lot on the line and the officers responded appropriately,” he said.
The suspects then threw a female hostage from the SUV towards the end of the chase who had also been shot and wounded.
When the raging gunfight between the suspects and police ended at a street intersection, a third hostage was found dead in the SUV, as well as one of the bank robbers. The two other suspects were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds and one of them died from his injuries some time later.
An eyewitness to the California bank robbery, Sam York, told KCRA-TV: “It sounded like five minutes of straight gunfire. It seemed like it wasn’t real.”
The third, and only surviving suspect of the California bank robbery, is due in court on Wednesday.