In the chaos of a gunfight, bullets fly and, unfortunately, they can miss their intended marks with terrible and unintended consequences. Police in Stockton California have confirmed that it was bullets fired by Stockton police that killed 41-year-old Misty Holt-Singh, a hostage during a botched bank robbery and subsequent shootout on July 16th.
As reported here on The Inquisitr, Holt-Singh’s family blamed the Stockton police for the untimely death of Misty. Her family criticized how the police handled the entire event, but now that the truth is out–the the police killed the hostage–they are outraged. Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones issued a statement, as detailed by USA Today on Monday, releasing the findings on an internal investigation that found evidence that Holt-Singh was killed by police in the shootout. The press conference can be seen below.
According to ABC News, Jones explained what happened that fateful day after three men, Alex Gregory Martinez, 27, Gilbert Renteria, Jr., 30, and Jaime Ramos, 19, entered a Bank of The West Branch armed with AK-47 assault rifles and left with cash and Holt-Singh as a hostage. Things went south quickly, according to the investigation. “We wanted, but never had the opportunity for, hostage negotiations,” Jones said.
Jones said 33 officers fired at the vehicle, most of them during the final shootout. Officers were under constant fire and were concerned the suspects would kidnap other hostages, take over businesses or even a school.
“We believe July 16, 2014, brought dynamics never before seen in law enforcement,” he said, adding that the suspects attempted to kill officers, fired more than 100 bullets and had about 200 rounds remaining when the gunfire ended.
Both Martinez and Renteria, Jr. were killed in the exchange. Jaime Ramos survived and was charged with Holt-Singh’s murder on top of the robbery charges.
Chief Jones explained that a full investigation was still underway, but he–and the Stockton Police Department–wanted to release the ballistics tests so the Holt-Singh family could have some peace. Jones met with Holt-Singh’s husband over the weekend and gave him the findings personally. As reported by the Sacramento Bee, Chief Jones described the meeting.
“The Singh family was saddened to receive the ballistic information concerning Misty’s death. The manner in which Misty’s life was taken raises serious questions and concerns. The family is hopeful, however, that the promised information, policies, and procedures concerning the events of July 16 will be provided so that a fair, complete, and transparent investigation can take place.”
A fourth member of the bank robbers, who was driving the black getaway car, is still at large and a $50,000 reward has been offered for information leading to his capture.
As for the Holt-Singh family, they can now begin the process of healing, and they will probably file a lawsuit in due time.
[Image courtesy of ABC News 7]