STOCKTON (AP) — The attorney for the family of a woman who was killed after being taken hostage during a Northern California bank robbery said he wants to know whether police made mistakes or suffered a communication breakdown, a newspaper reported.
The woman, Misty Holt-Singh, was found dead at the end of last month’s robbery and kidnapping in Stockton, which included a running gunbattle between police and the suspects. Police are investigating whether Holt-Singh was shot and killed by the suspects or officers.
Attorney Greg Bentley said Thursday that he had filed public-records requests for 911 calls, photographs, video and any other evidence documenting the incident, as well as law-enforcement protocols for kidnappings, pursuits and the use of deadly force. Bentley said that he wants to know whether protocols were followed. The records were requested from Stockton and Lodi police, the California Highway Patrol and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.
“The family is seeking answers as to how such a wonderful woman could be lost in such a horrific fashion,” Bentley said in a statement.
Stockton police spokesman Joe Silva said he had not received the request, and it would be forwarded to the city attorney’s office when it arrived. Silva said he could not comment on any of Bentley’s concerns because the incident is under investigation.
Holt-Singh, 41, was among three women the suspects took hostage during the July 16 bank robbery. Holt-Singh was a customer whose 12-year-old daughter was waiting outside in the car. The other two women were bank employees.
A police pursuit and shootout followed when the robbers fled with the hostages in an SUV owned by one of the employees. The two bank employees survived the ordeal by either jumping or getting thrown from the SUV as it sped through town.
But two of the suspects and Holt-Singh were found dead at the end of a final gun battle. Jaime Ramos, 19, the third suspect who police say used Holt-Singh as a human shield, has been charged with murder.