After a chaotic chase and shootout with three men that had taken hostages, Stockton Police recovered several firearms from the scene.
Investigators say all three suspects are known Nortenos gang members or associates. Two of the suspects and one of the three hostages died as a result of Wednesday’s gun battle. A law enforcement source close to the investigation confirmed that Alex Martinez and Gilbert Renteria were the suspects that were killed.
Family members say Misty Holt-Singh was the hostage that was killed.
“Firearms are very important in the gang lifestyle,” Det. Lizaro Guzman said. Guzman is part of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Gang Task Force.
The arsenal recovered by Stockton Police, which included several handguns and an AK-47 type automatic rifle, does not surprise Guzman at all.
“We’ve taken guns like AK-47s and AR-15s off of these guys and, typically, they are ex-felons or people who are not legally supposed to have guns so they’re obtained illegally,” he told FOX40.
What does surprise Guzman is how those weapons were used Wednesday. Stockton Police say the three men fired at officers during and after the hour-long chase. Typically, Guzman says gang members use those guns on each other and not at officers or innocent bystanders.
“It’s a common tit-for-tat, they draw blood, and the victims of that day are the next days suspects,” Guzman said.
Meanwhile, Stockton Police say the Nortenos in their area will be dealt with.
“This Nortenos street gang has hit our radar as far as Operation Ceasefire. They have more than hit our radar now, I’ll tell you that,” Chief Eric Jones said Thursday morning.
The lone surviving suspect, 19-year-old Jaime Ramos, was booked into San Joaquin County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday.
The San Joaquin County Office of Education says Ramos attended one of its schools from 2010 until he graduated in May of this year.