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Slain bank robbery hostage's family lawyer seeks police chase records

Bank robbery hostage Misty Jean Holt-Singh's death in Stockton police chase 'raises questions,' lawyer says
Family of slain Stockton bank robbery hostage asks public to respect privacy of dead men's families too

An attorney speaking for the family of the lone hostage slain in a bank robbery and police chase in Stockton said Friday he would seek police records on the incident, including dispatch logs, video and department policy on the use of deadly force.

Michael Platt, a lawyer for the family, made no reference to potential litigation against Stockton police or the other agencies involved in Wednesday's dramatic chase across three cities in San Joaquin County, but said the way in which Misty Jean Holt-Singh was killed "raises questions."

Singh, 42, was slain sometime during multiple shootouts involving two Norteño gang members, an alleged gang associate and law enforcement. Stockton police Chief Eric Jones said in a news conference it was unclear who shot Singh or when she died. Two other hostages who were employees at the bank were wounded during the chase but were ejected from the car and survived.

Only one of the alleged robbers — Jaime Ramos, 19, of Stockton — survived. The two others, Gilbert Renteria Jr., 30, and Alex Gregory Martinez, 27, both of Stockton, were shot to death by police in a dramatic final standoff. Four guns, including an AK-47-style assault rifle, and many magazines were recovered from their car. Authorities believe Ramos used Singh as a human shield during the shootout.

Though Singh was taken as a hostage, her family asked the public to respect the privacy of the dead gunmen's families too.

"Even though my sister was the victim of a terrible crime, there are other people who have lost someone they love too," said Singh's older sister, Dawn Holt, in a news conference.

Singh's husband said what happened to his wife was a "nightmare."

"She was the most caring, loving mother and wife," said Paul Singh, 45. "She would never do for her; it was always for us."

The family described her as the "rock" of the household, always chewing ice and never forgetting to take orange juice to softball games played by her 12-year-old daughter, Mia.

Platt said they wanted police, the media and witnesses to save any video from Wednesday's chase to aid a "full, open and transparent investigation."

Hundreds of shots were exchanged and 14 police

cars and several civilian vehicles and homes were riddled with bullets. More than 20 officers discharged their weapons.

Officials said the three men walked into a Bank of the West branch after 2 p.m. wearing hooded sweat shirts and sunglasses, tied up a security guard and then robbed the vault at gunpoint. As they left, they encountered police and used the three women as human shields during their escape.

Witnesses told investigators one of the women — a bank manager — volunteered as a hostage. It was her car that was used in the police chase.

Police said the men did not have a car waiting, and investigators found evidence that they may have committed similar robberies before. Investigators were looking for the driver of a black sedan seen on video dropping the men off in the area.

joseph.serna@latimes.com

@JosephSerna

richard.winton@latimes.com

@LAcrimes

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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