It is arguably the most tragic incident the city of Stockton has seen in 20 years. Armed robbers allegedly led police officers on a high-speed chase, resulting in the deaths of two suspects and a hostage, Misty Holt-Singh.
A year later the chief of police is reflecting on that day and says he still thinks about that violent scene daily.
The chief says that deadly bank robbery has tested the transparency of the police department, a department still dealing with the shootout that claimed an innocent mother’s life.
“This was the most tragic event that we’d ever seen within the department, within the community, that I can recall within the last over 20 years,” Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones told FOX40 on Thursday.
The rolling gun battle that rocked Stockton a year ago is still vivid in Jones’s mind.
“Still reeling from that, I think about it every day,” he said.
It was July 16, 2014, when investigators said three heavily armed men robbed a Bank of the West in Stockton.
A police chase ensued and three people were killed, including hostage Misty Holt-Singh.
“I feel if they weren’t stopped there would have been much, much worse violence,” Jones said.
An investigation revealed she was struck 10 times by police-fired bullets.
Jones said the way the suspects were stopped is now under independent review by a Washington, D.C., based institution called The Police Foundation.
“Specific tactics used and manner of which they were stopped — that’s under review, and that’s what I want to take a look at,” he said.
While the chief said no changes have been formally made to department policy since this tragic day, officers undergo constant training when dealing with potentially dangerous suspects.
“We’re not waiting for the report to do training immediately. I talk about training on shoot, don’t shoot scenarios,” he said.
As FOX40 has reported, there are two men who survived; one is facing the death penalty and the other is facing a possible life sentence in prison.
As for Misty Holt-Singh’s family, they’ve filed a claim against Bank of the West and the city of Stockton. They settled with the bank earlier this week, and Holt-Singh’s lawyers may be filing a lawsuit against the city soon.
The results of the independent investigation by The Police Foundation will be released within a month.
Jones said the organization is also investigating the tragic events in Ferguson.