STOCKTON (CBS SF) - Stockton police said at least three people are dead and one other was hospitalized after a bank robbery and high-speed chase Wednesday afternoon. One of the people killed was a hostage and the other two were suspects in the robbery.
The robbery happened before 3 p.m. at a Bank of the West near Hammer Lane and Pacific Avenue where three women were taken hostage by three suspects. Police said the suspects left in the bank manager's blue Ford Explorer with the hostages.
"Three guys had three guns and three hostages, and they had the guns to the hostages' heads. And they were petrified," Witness Jose Maldonado said.
Police said the suspects opened fire with semi-automatic weapons while officers chased them over several highways including Interstate 5. Witnesses said the scene was like a war zone.
"It was more than 100 shots," Maldonado said.
"During the entire pursuit, police officers were constantly fired upon by the assailants with high-powered assault rifles," said Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones.
Officer Joe Silva said one of the hostages was shot during the pursuit and was either thrown or jumped out of the vehicle. A second hostage was thrown from the vehicle when the pursuit came to an end in the middle of a street.
The pursuit ended around 3:40 p.m. near Thornton Road and Otto Drive when a barrage of shots were fired. At that point, police said there was no movement in the suspect vehicle following the shooting.
A hostage and one of the suspects died at the scene.
"It also preliminarily appears that one of the gunmen used the third and final hostage, the bank customer from earlier, as a shield," Jones said.
No officers were injured in the incident.
Police have not released the identity of the hostage who was killed. Friends and family have identified her as Misty Holt-Singh. They said she was a wife and mother.
Authorities have not released the identities of the suspects.
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