Police to release report Friday on deadly Saanich bank shootout

Police to release report Friday on deadly Saanich bank shootout
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Saanich Police joined by Victoria Police and RCMP respond gunfire involving multiple people and injuries reported at the Bank of Montreal during an active situation in Saanich, B.C., on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

The long-awaited findings of a police investigation into a deadly shootout at a Saanich bank last June will finally be revealed in a news conference Friday.

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU) will release the investigative findings of the Bank of Montreal shooting that left two suspects dead and six police officers injured in a gunfight Saanich’s police chief said was unlike anything he’s seen in his 27-year career.

Police representatives from various jurisdictions will provide statements following the report’s release, including Supt. Sanjaya Wijayakoom of BC RCMP’s Major Crime Section, VIIMCU spokesperson Cpl. Alex Bérubé and Saanich Police Chief Dean Duthie.

CHEK News will livestream the news conference at 11:30 a.m. on our website and on CHEK+.

The shootout took place June 28, 2022, when twin brothers Isaac and Matthew Auchterlonie of Duncan,attempted to rob the BMO on Shelbourne Street, then engaged in a gunfight with police outside the bank.

BREAKDOWN: What we still don’t know about the Saanich bank shootout ahead of Friday’s report

While the shooting made headlines not just on Vancouver Island, but around the world, the ensuing investigation has mostly been shrouded in mystery since it happened. It wasn’t until the Independent Investigations Office, B.C.’s police watchdog, issued its own report last month that the public gained some insight into the timeline of events.

That report’s purpose was to determine whether police were justified in using lethal force against the brothers and ultimately cleared them of wrongdoing, but it also provided previously unconfirmed details like the sheer volume of bullets exchanged, the weapons the brothers used (SKS semi-automatic rifles) and what CCTV cameras from inside the bank showed.

However, a number of questions remain unanswered, such as:

  • What motivated the brothers to rob a bank in broad daylight, then immediately open fire on responding officers?
  • Where did the rifle and body armor come from?
  • How were the brothers were able to afford such equipment?
  • Was there a third suspect involved in the incident?

Police have said they hope most of the public’s questions will be answered in Friday’s VIIMCU report, but those hoping for an explanation of why the brothers did it may be disappointed.

“The ‘why’ question, we’re hoping can be answered, but we don’t know if that’s going to be a reality,” Duthie said in December. “The VIIMCU investigation into this matter may shed some light onto that when that is concluded and able to be shared with the media and public.”

That will be determined Friday as the investigation into the tragic and unprecedented event finally becomes public.

Jeff LawrenceJeff Lawrence

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