STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — Three bank robbers took three screaming women hostage as they made their getaway and waged a ferocious, high-speed gun battle with police that left three people dead and cars and homes riddled with bullets, authorities said.
Two of the robbers were killed along with a hostage who police said had been used as a human shield.
During the hour-long chase through the streets, two of the hostages jumped or were thrown from the stolen SUV, one of them while it may have been going more than 50 mph. At least one suffered a gunshot wound. Both were expected to survive.
The chase and shootout began Wednesday afternoon when the three heavily armed men held up a Bank of the West branch in Stockton, a city about 80 miles east of San Francisco, and took two bank employees and a customer hostage. It ended in a hail of gunfire after police shot out the tires of the getaway vehicle.
It was not clear whether the hostage who died — the bank customer — was shot by police or by the robbers.
“What we’ve got to remember is what and who started this very deadly incident. It’s three armed and very violent suspects,” Stockton police spokesman Joe Silva said.
The only surviving suspect was identified Thursday as Jaime Ramos, 19, of Stockton. Police said the other robbers, ages 27 and 30, were gang members, also from Stockton.
Police said that they recovered at least three handguns and an assault rifle and that the gunmen had ammunition strapped to their bodies.
“It was such a chaotic … fluid situation, really one of the most dangerous, tense situations that a police officer could go through,” Police Chief Eric Jones said. He added: “There was a lot on the line and the officers responded appropriately.”
Fourteen police cars and many homes along the chase route were peppered with bullets, Jones said.
“The firing never stopped,” Jones said. “They were trying to kill (the officers), no doubt.”
Witnesses said the shootout that brought the episode to a close looked like a war.
“It sounded like five minutes of straight gunfire,” Sam York told KCRA-TV. “It seemed like it wasn’t real.”
At one point during the pursuit, the SUV — taken from a bank employee — stopped around a corner and turned to face the direction officers were coming from, in what would have been an ambush, police said.
One of the gunmen was leaning out, taking aim with a rifle, police said. An officer shot at the gunman, and the SUV took off again.
When the SUV’s tires were shot and the vehicle came to a stop, officers exchanged fire with at least one of the robbers, police said.
When it was all over, the last hostage was found dead in the SUV along with one of the gunmen, police said. A second gunmen died later at a hospital.
Jose Maldonado, who said he saw the robbers taking the women out of the bank, said the men had rifles slung over their shoulders and didn’t seem to care that there were police all around.
“They were not afraid. They weren’t going to take no for an answer. These poor women, they were screaming, they were so distraught, so scared,” Maldonado said.
During the holdup, the robbers also tied up a bank security guard.
Like BlackAmericaWeb.com on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
(Photo Source: AP)
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
1 of 31
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
2 of 31
3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
3 of 31
4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
4 of 31
5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
5 of 31
6 of 31
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
7 of 31
8 of 31
9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
9 of 31
10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
10 of 31
11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
11 of 31
12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
12 of 31
13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
13 of 31
14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
14 of 31
15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
15 of 31
16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
16 of 31
17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
17 of 31
18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
18 of 31
19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
19 of 31
20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
20 of 31
21. Bae #retailtherapy
21 of 31
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
22 of 31
23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
23 of 31
24. Diggy Simmons
24 of 31
25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
25 of 31
26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
26 of 31
27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
27 of 31
28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
28 of 31
29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
29 of 31
30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
30 of 31
31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
31 of 31