Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Saanich, BC – Saanich Police Department Chief Dean Duthie and VicPD Chief Del Manak are speaking together as they respond to the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) report on the officer-involved shooting that occurred at the Bank of Montreal on Shelbourne Street in Saanich on June 28, 2022. The two suspects were killed by police. Six Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) officers were shot during the exchange of gunfire. No one else was physically injured. The IIO report has concluded that no officer committed an offence under any enactment during the incident.
“The events of June 28, 2022 shook our community. Every one of us felt then, and feels now, the impact of that shooting,” Saanich Police Department Chief Dean Duthie said. “I am truly grateful for the professional, dedicated, and heroic efforts that many Saanich Police officers and Victoria Police officers demonstrated that day under high stress and life-threatening conditions. They put their own lives on the line to save lives, protect innocent people, and restore peace and safety in our community. Oversight by the IIO is a vital part of police accountability and transparency, which is very important to earn and maintain the public’s trust and confidence. Their independent and unbiased review of officers’ decisions and actions that day commends their professionalism, courage, and response. We are pleased that this extensive and thorough investigation report provides information and clarity that affords the public an opportunity to gain a stronger understanding of the dire circumstances that required immediate life-saving actions by responding officers.”
“This report contains detail that paints a clear picture of what our officers faced that day,” VicPD Chief Del Manak said. “I join Chief Duthie in commending the professionalism and courage of the officers and staff who responded that day and in the days following. This report may be difficult for some people to read, including members of the community who witnessed the event. We continue to provide support for our staff and encourage everyone affected by this incident to access any resources they have available as we continue to heal together as a community.”
About the incident
In the June 28th incident, Saanich patrol officers and members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) responded after two armed men, carrying assault rifles and wearing extensive body armour entered the Bank of Montreal at 3616 Shelbourne Street, fired a shot into the ceiling and robbed the bank. The two men remained in the bank for some time, and when they decided to leave, they were met by the frontline officers and GVERT in the bank parking lot. The two men were killed by officers in the exchange of gunfire. Six GVERT members were shot. Three suffered life-threatening injuries, two suffered non-life-threatening but potentially life-altering injuries and one suffered a non-life-threatening injury. No one else was physically harmed during the incident. Three of the injured officers have returned to work.
The IIO’s mandate requires an extensive investigation anytime someone is seriously injured or killed in an interaction with police in BC. While the IIO investigation is concluded, additional investigations into the incident by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) and the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU) are ongoing.
The IIO Report is available here: https://iiobc.ca/cases/2022-150/