Area remains taped after Saanich, B.C. bank shooting that killed 2 suspects and injured 6 officers

The site of a « chaotic » shooting that left two suspects dead and several police officers injured in Saanich, B.C. on Tuesday remained closed Wednesday morning.

Tapes of police surrounded the area around the Bank of Montreal branch on Shelbourne Street on Wednesday as officers quietly roamed the area. An abandoned white police van sat in the parking lot, its doors still open from the day before.

Police are expected to provide an update Wednesday afternoon.

Two suspects were killed and six members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team were injured when gunfire erupted outside the bank late on Tuesday morning. Witnesses described hearing dozens of consecutive gunshots just after 11 a.m. PT.

Police said the shooting began outside the bank, although it was not immediately clear who fired first. The suspects were armed and are believed to have been wearing body armor.

WATCH | Police exchange gunfire with suspects outside bank in Saanich, B.C.

2 suspects dead, 6 police officers injured in BC Bank firefight

Police say two suspects are dead and six members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team are hospitalized following an exchange of gunfire at a bank in Saanich, British Columbia.

Three of the injured officers are members of the Saanich Police Department and three are members of the Victoria Police Department. Three were to be released after being treated in hospital, while Duthie said three needed surgery for « much more » serious injuries.

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said officials were not going to provide a public update on the officers’ conditions.

« We’re not ready to release anything…we hope to have more news for you later, » Haynes said in an interview Wednesday morning.

Saanich police said they were « overwhelmed » by messages of support.

« Your kind words mean a lot in difficult times like these, and we share your comments with our officers, » read a tweet on Wednesday.

The police department is expected to provide an update at a 3:30 p.m. PT news conference. The block around the bank remains closed, as do businesses in the mall across the street.

WATCH | A daytime robbery and shooting leave 2 dead and 6 injured:

Police and suspects exchange multiple gunfire in fatal B.C. bank shooting

2 suspects dead and six officers injured in bank shooting in Saanich, B.C.

The bank is in a mostly residential area of ​​Saanich, about a mile west of the University of Victoria campus. The shooting began as the square was packed with people shopping at nearby stores or stopping at restaurants for lunch.

Chief Constable of Saanich. Dean Duthie described the scene on Tuesday as « chaotic, tragic, dynamic and violent » and said it was « truly incredible » that bank workers and members of the public were unharmed.

“That level of violence in my service with Saanich, being just 27 years old, there has been nothing like it in my experience,” Duthie said at a press conference.

Homes and businesses were evacuated overnight as the RCMP Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit investigated the possibility of an explosive device in the vehicle the suspects allegedly used.

People living in houses opposite the bank said they did not immediately recognize the sound of gunfire. When they looked out their windows or over their balconies, they realized the gravity of the situation and rushed inside.

« You could hear people screaming and then they were screaming for people to come inside, » said Christopher Ford, whose wife and daughter rushed to hide under a table in the back of the house.

« It was one of the most terrifying experiences for my family. »

Saanich Police have asked anyone with video of the incident to submit the footage through their evidence submission portal.


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