Bullets Fly In Bank Robbery Shootout and Chase, Leaving Hostage Dead
It was the terrifying sounds of a wild gun battle on the streets of an American city. Police and bank robbers exchanged fire.
The drama began with a robbery at a bank in Stockton, California. The robbers fled, taking three hostages with them, including 42-year-old bank customer Misty Holt-Singh who was used as a human shield.
A police officer told reporters, "They had guns to the hostages heads and they were petrified. You could see their faces. Their faces were white. They were just so scared."
There was a running gun battle during the chase at speeds of up to 100 mph, much of it caught on video by civilians.
One civilian recorded video, saying, "It looked like the entire Stockton Police Department was on the freeway."
Police radios also captured the drama.
Police officer: "We're taking fire! We are taking fire! Get down! Get down!"
Police officer: "One party has been shot!"
Police dispatcher: "There is one officer who has been hit!"
Two of the hostages were thrown out of the vehicle during the chase.
Police officer: "They've dropped a hostage on the ground. They've just thrown her out."
One of the surviving hostages was the bank branch manager. The other, another bank employee.
Police finally shot out the tires on the stolen SUV, but the robbers refused to surrender, fighting it out with AK-47 assault rifles. The air was filled with gunfire for five full minutes.
As the guns finally fell silent, cops approached, crouched behind an armored vehicle.
Two of the robbers were killed. A third, 19-year-old Jaime Ramos was arrested and charged with kidnapping and murder.
The robbers' getaway vehicle was riddled with bullets, and inside, tragically, was the body of the remaining hostage.
The daughter of the slain hostage was outside the bank and watched, horrified as her mom was taken captive. Twelve-year-old Mia texted her father what had happened. He spoke to reporters before he knew his wife was dead.
He said, "I looked at my phone. The text was from my daughter and said, 'Leave work.' The next text came immediately after saying, 'The bank got robbed' and a third text came over, 'They took mom.' A million things going through your head like, is she okay? How is this going to end? Are they going to hurt her? Are they going to go suicidal?"
Today, Mia posted a heart-wrenching message on Instagram: "Mommy I'm so sorry. I should have went into the bank with you. This should have never happened....You were my best friend. No one would be able to replace you. I love you so so much."