The family of 41-year-old Misty Holt-Singh, the sole hostage to die in Wednesday’s bank heist and a high-speed police chase and gun battle in Stockton, said Friday they are launching their own investigation into the incident.
At times in tears, the family thanked friends, family, community members and even strangers from all across the country for the outpour of love and support they have received.
“What happened to Misty is a nightmare,” Holt-Singh’s husband Paul Singh said. “It’s something I would never want to happen to anybody.”
Holt-Singh’s family attorney, Greg Bentley, made a plea during the emotional press conference for anyone with documents and video of the chase to share it with the family.
He also asked law enforcement agencies to be transparent with sharing information -- including dispatch logs and video -- about the incident, including protocols followed during the deadly police chase and gunfight.
“We look forward to a full and complete investigation,” Bentley said.
The bloody hour-long melee that followed the armed robbery in a Bank of West branch left Holt-Singh and two suspected robbers dead. The violence left police cars riddled with bullet holes and an entire community reeling.
Authorities are still trying to determine who fired the bullet that killed Holt-Singh.
The surviving suspect Jaime Ramos, 19 used Singh-Holt as a human shield during the gun battle. He is scheduled to be arraigned in San Joaquin Superior Court Monday.
The other two suspects who were killed have been identified by the coroner's office as Gilbert Renteria Jr., 30, and Alex Gregory Martinez, 27.
The robbery suspects were known gang affiliates with deep criminal pasts and no qualms with taking human life amid their "reckless and chaotic" crimes, police said.
Singh described his wife as a “caring, loving mother and wife."
“She would never do for her, it was always for us,” he said. “That’s what makes it so difficult for us. She was our rock. I just want to make sure her story is told."
Holt-Singh’s Facebook page is living testimony to her husband's words, with almost every picture showing her doing something for their two children, Mia and Paul Jr., or family and friends.
Mia, who was sitting in the car texting – “as teenagers do,” her father pointed out – while her mother stepped out to get money from the bank, didn’t speak at first, but her face gave away what she was feeling.
Later, she shared how her mother would always bring her orange juice at softball games and the fun they had Snapchatting in the car. She added that her mother relentlessly chewed on ice.
“I love you, Mom,” she said, tearing up.
“In high school, whenever we would see the camera people come, we would always want to go and be on camera, but today this isn’t what I want to be doing today,” Holt-Singh’s son Paul Jr. said. “I don’t want to think that what’s going on is true. I wake up and I am hoping it’s a dream and my mom’s going to be there, but she's not … and it sucks … it’s hard.”
Paul described how his mother cleaned the house, did the laundry and the dishes in spite of having back problems.
“She was loved by everyone, all my friends, my teachers ... my youth pastor," he said.
Holt-Singh’s older sister Dawn Holt burst into tears while speaking, calling her “one of my best friends.”
“Even though my sister was the victim of a terrible crime, there are other people out there that have also lost someone," Holt said. "Let’s respect the robber’s family as well -- we do need to give those families respect because they lost someone they love too."
A spokesperson for the family said Bank of the West and Bank of Stockton will be helping the Holt-Singh family financially, including setting up a memorial fund.
Misty Holt-Singh's husband, Paul Singh, stands next to his sister-in-law, Dawn Holt, and his son.
Paul Singh comforts his daughter Mia.