Report: Officers Fired Excessively in Deadly Stockton Bank Robbery Shootout

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STOCKTON —

“We are taking fire, we are taking fire.”

Scanner traffic from last summer’s deadly bank robbery is a vital piece of evidence that gives a glimpse of what went down last summer.

On Monday, a newly released report by the Washington, D.C.-based Police Foundation revealed that some officers may have been shooting blindly.

“We never seen anything quite like this in law enforcement, really only in the movies did we see something like this,” Chief Jones said.

On July 16, 2014 three gunmen allegedly charged into a Bank of the West taking three hostages.

Investigators say Alex Martinez, Gilbert Renteria and Jaime Ramos led officers on a 60-mile deadly gun battle and fired 100 rounds at officers from an AK-47 rifle.

Perhaps the most glaring part of the report is the account of the chaos that unfolded when the pursuit finally ended.

“It does acknowledge, though, that there was too much gunfire by police at the conclusion of the event,” Jones said.

Some of the 33 officers were involved a wild shootout with the suspects. Police fired off hundreds of rounds.

According to the report, the more than 600 shots fired by officers were not only excessive, but unnecessary.

Some officers, according to the report, didn’t even have a clear view of the suspects. The Police Foundation called this “sympathetic fire,” which is when officers fire their weapons just because their colleagues are firing theirs.

“The report did identify a need for more training and response plans for heavily armed hostage situations, which we will review,” Jones said.

Rentereria and Martinez were killed. Ramos was the lone survivor after he used hostage Misty Holt- Singh as a human shield.

“Policing is not always by-the-book answer and rarely is there a single right answer to an incident,” Jones said.

The report also highlighted the officers and their bravery and commended the department at their efforts at transparency.

“Watching Chief Jones going, that’s the way police chiefs should handle this. You get out in front, you tell the public what’s happening, you engage your organization,” said Rick Braziel of the Police Foundation.

We reached out to the family of Misty Holt-Singh’s lawyer. They have filed suit against the city and the department, but the lawyers are not commenting on the report, yet. They are planning to do so at a press conference Tuesday morning.

One of the surviving hostages, Kelly Huber, has also filed a lawsuit against the police department. Her lawyers claim they plan to move forward with their suit and called the report “propaganda.”

Huber’s lawyers, Dustin and Mike Dyer, claim the report did not take a hard look at failure to follow protocol and the excessive gunfire.

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