California bank robbery, high speed chase, gun battle: three people dead

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Video Discription: Three people were killed in a high-speed car chase and gun battle that took place in the streets of Stockton, California on Wednesday (July 16). One of the dead was a hostage, while two robbers were killed.

According to police, the violence started when officers responded to a robbery that was taking place at a Bank of the West branch in north Stockton at around 2:00 p.m. Witnesses said three robbers carrying what looked like AK-47 rifles then exited the bank with three women hostages.

The robbers stole a bank employee's SUV and fled the scene with police in pursuit. The chase lasted for about 45 minutes and several miles before one of the hostages was thrown from the SUV with a gunshot wound, according to Joe Silva, a spokesman for the Stockton Police Department.
Suspects fired rifles from the SUV during the chase that involved some 14 police cars. Homes and cars by the side of the roads were riddled with bullets, said Police Chief Eric Jones during a news conference.

"It was such a chaotic ... fluid situation, really one of the most dangerous, tense situations that a police officer could go through," Jones said.

"There was a lot on the line and the officers responded appropriately," he said.

A second hostage was later thrown from the vehicle with a grazing bullet wound, according to Silva.

When the SUV stopped at a street intersection, the suspects and police officers engaged in a firefight that led to the SUV being covered in bullet holes.

After the gun battle, police found the third hostage dead inside the SUV. One robber was also killed. Another robber later died in hospital.

According to Jones, the hostage who was killed was a bank customer, and apparently had been used by suspects as a shield during the shootout. Meanwhile, the surviving suspect was conscious after being taken to hospital, Jones said.

One witness, Joe Maldonado, told local reporters that the robbers didn't seem to care that there were police all around.

"They were not afraid. They

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