VICTORIA, BC — Two suspects were killed and six police officers were shot at a bank in Saanich, B.C. Tuesday.
Around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, officers from the Saanich and Victoria police departments - all members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team - responded to a report that two armed suspects entered a bank on the 3600 block of Shelbourne Street in Saanich.
When officers arrived, the suspects fired at police, according to the Victoria Police Department. The two suspects were shot by responding officers. Both suspects died at the scene.
"They ran toward live and active gunfire while human instinct is to run away from such imminent danger," said Saanich Chief Constable Dean Duthie. "Our motto at Saanich is keeping Saanich safe and that’s exactly what these officers did yesterday."
Three Saanich police officers and three Victoria police officers were struck by gunfire and taken to the hospital.
As of Wednesday, three officers are home and recovering. Three other officers remain in the hospital after extensive surgeries, according to Saanich Chief Constable Dean Duthie. One officer remains in the ICU, and another will need additional surgeries.
Homes and businesses near the intersection of Shelbourne Street and Pear Street were evacuated due to a potential explosive device, according to Saanich police. A shelter in place was lifted around 6 p.m. Tuesday, though the 3600 block of Shelbourne remained closed.
Saanich police recovered at least one explosive device, transported it to a nearby landfill and detonated it.
Police do not believe any bank employees, customers or members of the public were physically injured during the incident.
“We appreciate the ongoing support for our officers and community during this time,” Victoria police said in a press release.
The Independent Investigations Office is investigating the incident, which is the protocol for officer-involved shootings in British Columbia.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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