Robbery hostage killed in California

, Posted: Thu, July 17 2014 at 9:47 AM, Updated: Thu, July 17 2014 at 3:07 PM

(NBC News) A 19-year-old suspect was identified Thursday morning by police as one of the three armed men who led police on a high-speed chase through at least three cities Wednesday, firing shots into cars and houses along the way, and throwing hostages from a speeding SUV after a bank robbery that led to the deaths of one hostage and two of the robbers, officers said.

The violence began around 2 p.m. when officers responded to a call reporting a robbery at a Bank of the West branch in north Stockton.

Arriving officers spotted three men walking three female hostages from the bank at gunpoint.

The robbers then stole a bank employee's SUV and began a pursuit.

During the chase that lasted at least an hour and spanned several miles one of the hostages was thrown from the SUV and taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound and a second hostage was also thrown from the car later on in the chase.

When police finally disabled the SUV's tires at Otto and Estate drives in the northeast part of the city, officers exchanged a barrage of gunfire with someone inside the vehicle.

When the shootout had ended, the third hostage was found dead in the SUV and one of the robbers was also dead. The police chief said the hostage was a bank customer, and that she appears to have been used by the suspects as a shield during the shootout.

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