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Saanich police officer injured in bank shootout released from hospital

Six police officers were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds following the shootout on June 28. One Saanich officer remains in hospital and “continues to make progressive improvements day by day,” says Chief Dean Duthie.

One of the six police officers wounded in a shootout in front of a Shelbourne Street bank on June 28 left Royal ­Jubilee Hospital on Friday.

The Saanich officer was greeted by family and police officers from the Saanich force and the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team.

“Today is a very special, heartwarming and inspirational as one of our injured officers is returning home where he can continue to heal and build his strength while being surround by his loving family,” Saanich Chief Constable Dean Duthie said.

The officer’s inner strength, ­determination and grit inspires all staff with Saanich police as well as community members, Duthie said.

Six emergency response team ­officers were taken to hospital with ­gunshot wounds.

A Saanich officer remains in hospital and “continues to make progressive improvements day by day,” Duthie said.

“We are so grateful for the ­extraordinary care, compassion, and professionalism of the medical staff, nurses, doctors and surgeons at [Royal Jubilee Hospital] who assisted and guided the healing of our officer to this day.”

Two men entered the Bank of Montreal Bank on Shelbourne Street on June 28 and ordered the manager to take them to the vault. No one in the bank was hurt.

Shooting began when the men left the branch. Police shot and killed two ­suspects, brothers from Shawnigan Lake. Videos taken by bystanders show police officers running toward the bank as shots repeatedly sound.

The emergency response team had been in the area and responded to the report of a bank robbery, pulling up in their van. Photographs from the scene show the van riddled with bullet holes.

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crimes Unit is investigating, as is the Independent Investigations Office of B.C., which investigates all cases of police-involved injury or death.

A fundraising page started by the Victoria City Police Union and the Saanich Police Association to help the injured officers with their recovery has collected about $277,000 from more than 1,400 donations.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com