The city of Stockton has refused to accept responsibility for its police officers, who allegedly fired more than 600 rounds at armed bank robbery suspects inside a disabled SUV and hit a hostage 10 times, killing her, an attorney for the woman's family said.
Though the family of Misty Holt-Singh has four more months to consider filing a claim against Stockton for its police department's handling of a July robbery and chase that left Holt-Singh and two suspects dead, the city is "forcing the Singhs' hand," attorney Gregory Bentley said. He did not specify when a claim would be filed.
Stockton city officials declined to comment.
"The city has refused to accept responsibility for its actions," Bentley said in a statement. "Stockton police officers fired over 600 bullets at a disabled vehicle with full knowledge that Misty was inside ... of the bullets that struck Misty, every single one was fired from a member of the Stockton police."
Holt-Singh was killed July 17 amid a dramatic multi-county chase when three men robbed a Bank of the West and took her and two others hostage and fled. Authorities said Holt-Singh was used as a human shield during the ensuing shootout.
The family's investigation shows that 34 officers discharged their weapons and that they "violated numerous standard police protocols in their response," Bentley said.
Bentley's critique is echoed in a claim filed last week by one of the surviving hostages, Kelly Huber, an employee at the bank.
Huber said than an officer negligently interrupted the bank robbery and caused the subsequent kidnapping and shooting. Police weren't prepared to contain the robbers before confronting them and didn't wait until she and the other two hostages were free before trying to capture the suspects, which only made it more dangerous, Huber said in her claim.
Huber was shot in both legs and broke a bone in the incident. She's seeking unspecified damages.
Last month, a Northern California grand jury indicted Jaime Ramos, 20, and Pablo Ruvalcaba, 21, in connection with the robbery. Authorities say Ramos was the surviving gunman and Ruvalcaba was the driver who dropped the gunmen off at the bank.