Officials in Saanich, B.C., have lifted a shelter-in-place advisory after six police officers were injured when gunfire erupted during a botched bank robbery Tuesday.
Three officers were from the Saanich Police Department while the other three officers are members of the Victoria Police Department.
Two of the officers were taken for surgery due to the extent of their injuries, according to police.
Saanich police said they anticipate that some officers will be released “soon,” whereas other officers sustained serious injuries and may need further treatment.
Police said two suspects were shot and killed at the scene.
Police had initially believed that another suspect may still be at large, however, after an extensive search of the area said they had not found any indication of a third suspect.
Saanich police confirmed that at 11 a.m. Tuesday officers responded to a report of armed suspects at the Bank of Montreal in the 3600-block of Shelbourne Street in the community north of Victoria.
Multiple officers responded to the scene and encountered the armed suspects who fired at police.
B.C. Emergency Health Services said they were called at 11:21 a.m. and deployed seven ground ambulances and a street supervisor.
Police also moved to evacuate homes and businesses within close proximity to the scene of the incident due to the presence of a potential explosive device in a vehicle related to the suspects, the department confirmed on Twitter.
Shelbourne Street remained closed Tuesday evening as police continued to respond to the possible explosive.
Beau Schultz, who lives nearby, said they were just getting out of the shower when they saw police officers outside their house.
“It started out very simply with just the two cops that I saw,” Schultz told Global News.
“What I saw next was two people leaving the bank and they were armed and they also, I don’t really know how to describe how they were dressed, but you could tell they were trying to conceal who they were.”
That’s when gunfire rang out, Schultz said, adding they saw one of the two people who exited the bank get shot.
“Time is honestly a blur,” Schultz said, describing smoke, seeing people getting hit and hearing dozens and dozens of gunshots.
“It’s all quite overwhelming, honestly.”
In a statement to Global News, Bank of Montreal spokesperson Jeff Roman said “we are deeply shocked and saddened by the incident that is occurring in Victoria this afternoon. We thank emergency responders for their dedication and for helping to keep the public safe.
“The safety and security of our customers and employees is our priority and our thoughts are with all those impacted by today’s events.”
At this time, Saanich police said it does not believe that any bank employees, bank customers, or members of the public were physically injured in this incident.
RCMP said they are providing assistance to Saanich police but could not comment further.
This remains an active investigation, Saanich police said and as with all officer-involved shootings in British Columbia, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) has been deployed.
Anyone with information relevant to the IIO’s investigation can contact them through the IIO witness line at 1-855-446-8477 or via the contact form at iiobc.ca.
Saanich police have created an online portal where people can submit photo and video evidence to aid in the investigation. Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to contact