British Columbia

3 wounded police officers remain in hospital after Saanich, B.C., bank shooting

Three of the six officers who were injured during an armed robbery at a bank in Saanich, B.C., are still in hospital one week after the shooting, according to officials.

One hospitalized officer still in ICU following several surgeries, chief constable says

Saanich Police Chief Const. Dean Duthie provides an update last Wednesday about the shootout between two robbery suspects and police during a news conference at the Saanich Police department in Saanich, B.C. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

Three of the six officers who were injured during an armed robbery at a bank in Saanich, B.C., are still in hospital one week after the shooting, officials say.

Two officers are from the Saanich Police Department (SPD). One is in stable condition, while the other is in the intensive care unit after three separate surgeries. A third police officer with the Victoria Police Department also remains in hospital.

"The injuries are significant, but the recovery process has started. It's not over, by any means ⁠— it's going to be a very long road," said Chief Const. Dean Duthie.

Duthie spoke about the officers during a news conference on Tuesday, one week to the day after the shooting at a Bank of Montreal branch in the Greater Victoria municipality.

A statement Monday said police would be releasing the names of the injured officers to the public, but Duthie said he changed his mind after speaking with the officers' families.

"More real deep thinking of the potential impact of having identities released at this point in time made me reconsider. My emphasis and my priority, as the community's is, is on the health and wellness of these people," he said.

"They don't need any extra stress ... that was the basis of my decision."

Members of the public look through the doors of Saanich, B.C.'s police department on Thursday, June 30, 2022, where bouquets of flowers have been placed in support of wounded officers — two days after a bank robbery ended with six officers wounded, two suspects dead, and locals reeling from the traumatic events.
Flowers from members of the public are seen on Thursday outside the entrance of Saanich Police Department, two days after six officers were wounded in a bank robbery. (Susana da Silva/CBC)

The six wounded officers, all members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT), were among those called to the branch at Shelbourne and Pear streets in Saanich after reports that armed men had entered the bank. 

The shooting started as the suspects left the branch. It's unclear who shot first, but witnesses described hearing as many as 50 shots back to back.

Three officers from the Victoria Police Department were left with non-life-threatening injuries.

Three others needed surgery for serious injuries.

The two hospitalized Saanich police officers each have eight years of experience with the department. Both worked with patrol and community engagement units as well as the GVERT.

The robbery suspects were killed in the shooting. They have since been identified as brothers Mathew and Isaac Auchterlonie, both 22.

Saanich Police, joined by Victoria Police and RCMP, respond to the shooting outside the Bank of Montreal branch in Saanich, B.C., on June 28. Six officers were wounded in the shooting. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

Police initially described the boys as twins, but multiple sources have since confirmed to CBC News that they were triplets with a sister. They were from Duncan, B.C., nearly 60 kilometres northwest of Saanich.

After the shooting, police found — and safely detonated — explosives inside a white 1992 Toyota Camry that the brothers were believed to have used.

Vancouver Island's Integrated Major Crime Unit has taken over the investigation. The Independent Investigations Office of B.C., the oversight body which reviews all police actions that result in death or serious harm, is also looking into what happened.

On Tuesday, Duthie deferred questions on the progress of the investigation to VIIMCU.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said two police officers remain in hospital. in fact, three officers remain in hospital — two from the Saanich Police Department and one from VicPD.
    Jul 05, 2022 4:42 PM PT

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