Jaime Ramos, Sole Surviving Suspect In Deadly California Bank Robbery, Due In Court Monday

A 19-year-old alleged gang associate, Jaime Ramos, who is the only surviving suspect of a deadly bank robbery in California last week is due in court Monday for the first time in this case.

Police say that Ramos was arrested after using a hostage, bank customer Misty Holt-Singh, as a human shield.

The 41-year-old mother of two died sometime during a chase and ensuing shootout that ended with two of the three robbers killed in a dramatic gunfight with hundreds of bullets fired.

San Joaquin County Chief Deputy District Attorney Ron Freitas said that Ramos could face at least 33 charges, including murder counts that make him eligible for a death sentence.

Ramos is being held without bail, and it's not clear if he has an attorney.

Police say that all three suspects in the bank robbery and hostage-taking in the California city of Stockton were members of the “Nortenos,” one of the area’s most violent and entrenched gangs, according to NBC News.

Police spokesman Joe Silva said that the suspects clearly were ready for a violent encounter with police.

"We don't exactly yet know their mindset" said Silva, according to NBC News. "But they were ready to get in a gun battle if they thought police officers were going to intervene."

The two dead suspects are 27-year-old Alex Gregory Martinez and 30-year-old Gilbert Renteria Jr. Relatives of the two slain bank robbers have said that they believe police acted appropriately by engaging their sons in a gun battle.

Police say they believe the suspects may have been involved in other bank robberies in the area.

"Investigators have been looking at that January case really hard," said Silva, adding that nobody was injured or taken hostage in the earlier robbery carried out by two or more men with handguns.

In Wednesday afternoon's robbery, police say, the suspects came armed with three handguns and an AK-47, and were dropped off at a Bank of the West branch by an unknown driver.

They took three women as hostages, including Holt-Singh and two employees, police said.

They fled in a bank employee's SUV, forcing her to drive, before shooting her and pushing her from the vehicle, Silva said. A second employee was later thrown or jumped from the SUV at 50 mph amid an hour-long pursuit and running gun battle with police, he said. Both women survived.

Silva said several patrol cars and up to a dozen homes were struck by gunfire.

Relatives, friends and hundreds of community members mourned Holt-Singh at a candlelight vigil outside a Stockton hotel on Saturday night. Earlier in the day, about two dozen people marched from Holt-Singh's church to the bank.

"I think the best thing said about her is that she was such a positive person, that she was always loving and giving," Rev. Kimberly Montenegro, pastor of Holy Cross Methodist Church, told KGO-TV. "What I think is important is that our response also be loving and giving. That we not let the anger that we're feeling and the frustration boil up and destroy this city even more."

An autopsy may determine who shot Holt-Singh. She had left her 12-year-old daughter in the car when she went into the bank.

"She stopped at the bank to get some cash to get a haircut," said family friend and attorney Michael Platt. "She happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Police have recovered a dark-colored Buick sedan seen on video dropping off the suspects. The car had no license plates and was found abandoned in a neighborhood about a 10-minute drive from the bank. The driver is the subject of an active search, Silva said.

More than 40 Stockton police officers in the shootout were put on paid administrative leave, but Silva said they will start returning to work Sunday.

Shortly after the incident, investigators interviewed the two surviving women and followed up with them Friday, said Freitas, who declined to name them. One underwent surgery, he said, and the second was taken to a head-trauma center for care.

"We'll be learning a lot more about what happened in the bank and then what happened during the chase," Freitas said. "Literally, information is still coming in as we speak."

Renteria's mother, Debra Renteria, said her family was grieving for Holt-Singh's family and anyone traumatized by the shootout. She said her son was essentially a good person who made a terrible decision that ended his life.

Martinez's father, Gregory Jon Martinez, said he believed police used appropriate force, adding his condolences for the dead hostage. "We believe that given the circumstances the department behaved in a manner that was appropriate," Gregory Jon Martinez said.

Holt-Singh's husband, Paul, and the couple's two children spoke publicly Friday about their wife and mother. Paul Singh called it a nightmare. "It's something I would never want to happen to anybody," he said.

The couple's 12-year-old daughter, Mia, recalled how her mother was playful, always inserting herself in pictures and endlessly chewing on ice. A dedicated mother, Holt-Singh attended her daughter's softball games and never forgot to bring orange juice.

"I love you, Mom," Mia said before bursting into tears and turning to her father for comfort.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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