Two California bank robbers, one hostage dead after chase, gun battle


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Two California bank robbers, one hostage dead after chase, gun battle

By Joyce Lupiani. CREATED Jul 17, 2014

California bank robbers led police officers on a wild, 45-minute chase on Wednesday afternoon. In the end, three people were dead, including two suspects and a hostage.

It all began when officers responded to a report of a robbery at a Bank of the West branch in North Stockton, according to ABC News/Associated Press.

Police received a 911 call from a security guard. He told the police that a bank robbery was underway and he had been tied up.

When police arrived, they saw three men taking three female hostages -- two bank employees and a customer -- from the bank at gunpoint.

The bank robbers hopped into one of the bank employee's SUV and took off. The police gave chase.

During the chase, two of the hostages either jumped or were thrown from the SUV. Both had been shot but are expected to survive. Those two hostages who lived are the bank employees, according to the Sacramento Bee.

CNN says that the California Highway Patrol soon joined the chase and the robbery suspects led police from Stockton to Lodi to Acampo and back to Stockton again.

During the entire chase, the suspects were firing at the police with AK-47-style rifles. Four police cars and many homes along the robbers' path were hit by gunfire during the incident.

The SUV finally came to a stop after the tires were shot out, but that wasn't the end of it. Police officers again exchanged gunfire with at least one of the robbers.

When it was finally over, one of the suspects was dead and the remaining hostage—the bank customer—was also dead. The other two suspects, who were also shot during the gun battle, were taken to the hospital. One of those suspects died at the hospital.

The identities of the victims and robbery suspects have not been released at this time.

Joyce Lupiani

Joyce Lupiani

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Joyce Lupiani, who is based in Las Vegas at KTNV-TV Channel 13, is a contributor to