Police are working with the BC Coroners Service to identify the two suspects killed in Tuesday’s deadly bank shootout in Saanich.
RCMP Cpl. Alex Berube, speaking on behalf of lead investigating body the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crimes Unit (VIIMCU), said once the suspects have been identified next of kin will be notified. Until then, no information will be released to the public.
A vehicle believed to be associated with the suspects was found with multiple improvised explosive devices in it. The vehicle is described as a white 1992 four-door Toyota Camry with two black racing stripes over the hood and roof. Police are looking for any information on this vehicle or its movements during the week prior to the bank robbery.
The devices were secured by the BC RCMP explosive disposal unit, who transported them to the Hartland landfill Wednesday to be destroyed.
Saanich Chief Const. Dean Duthie said three Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) members remain in hospital recovering from extensive surgeries and no update on their conditions was available Thursday.
The three sustained life-threatening injuries. One remains in the intensive care unit and will, along with another officer still in hospital, require additional surgeries and treatment over the coming months.
The other three injured officers have been released from hospital after receiving emergency medical care and are now recovering at home.
The officers all suffered gunshot wounds in an exchange with two armed men who were leaving the BMO bank at Shelbourne and Pear streets. The two bank robbery suspects were shot dead by police.
While police continue to investigate the possibility of a third suspect, Wednesday’s update revealed no further information has been uncovered indicating a risk to the public.
Asked about the quick response of GVERT to the scene, Duthie said they were on another unrelated operation at the time and responded to the bank situation as it was a higher priority.
B.C.’s police oversight agency, the Independent Investigation Office (IIO) is looking into police actions during the incident.
Saanich police tweeted about 4 p.m. Thursday that the Shelbourne Plaza has reopened, although a few businesses in the shopping area remain closed. Traffic along Shelbourne Street and the immediate area remains restricted, however. Police ask the public to have patience while the crime scene continues to be processed.
GVERT’s white panel van remained at the scene Thursday.
Members of the public with video of the incident are asked to submit it to saanichpd.ca.evidence.com/axon/citizen/public/22-12262. Anyone with information who has not yet spoken to police is asked to call the VIIMCU information line at 250-380-6211.
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