Report: 600 Shots Fired in Bank Robbery 'Excessive'
2 suspects, 1 hostage were killed in Stockton shootout
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2015 7:35 AM CDT
This undated file photo shows Misty Holt Singh, who was taken hostage and killed in Stockton, Calif., Wednesday, July 16, 2014, following a bank robbery and gun battle.   (AP Photo/Singh Family, File)
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(Newser) – California police managed to stop three alleged bank robbers who they say took off in a getaway car with three hostages last year, but it took 600 bullets from 32 officers in one of the most violent conflicts between cops and criminals in law enforcement history, according to a new report. Two of the three suspects—known Norteño gang members, reports the San Francisco Chronicle—were killed, but so was hostage Misty Holt-Singh, 41, who was hit by police bullets 10 times. As her husband prepares to sue the city of Stockton, a report from the nonprofit Police Foundation finds police made "a great many smart and courageous decisions," but 600 shots were "excessive and unnecessary." It also states some officers fired only because other cops were shooting, when colleagues were standing in front of them, and "after the threat had been eliminated."

Holt-Singh was visiting a Bank of the West branch in Stockton on July 16 when the suspects robbed the bank and took herself and two bank workers hostage in an employee's SUV, police tell the AP. The two workers eventually jumped or were pushed from the vehicle, but authorities say Holt-Singh was used as a human shield as the suspects returned 100 shots during the hour-long chase. "Never in the history of US law enforcement has a police force dealt with an event such as this," the report states, per the Los Angeles Times. "There was no planned response for when the suspect vehicle stopped." It adds the city's police force included many rookie cops with limited equipment and resources. Stockton's police chief says "it's important that we be as brave in reviewing this incident as our officers were in responding to it." The only surviving suspect has pleaded not guilty to robbery, murder, and other charges.
 

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