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B.C. police officers recovering after bank shootout overwhelmed by support

SAANICH, B.C. — An officer who was injured in a deadly shootout outside a bank in Saanich, B.C., last week remains in intensive care after three surgeries. Saanich Chief Const.
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Saanich Police joined by Victoria Police and RCMP respond after a shootout outside a Bank of Montreal where two suspects were killed and six officers were injured in Saanich, B.C., on June 28, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

SAANICH, B.C. — An officer who was injured in a deadly shootout outside a bank in Saanich, B.C., last week remains in intensive care after three surgeries.

Saanich Chief Const. Dean Duthie told a news conference Tuesday the officer, who has eight years of service with the department, is getting better. 

"He's been showing signs of improvement day by day, including short conversations with his family and close friends," he said. "His strength and determination continue to inspire and motivate all of us here at Saanich Police Department." 

Three Saanich officers and three from the Victoria Police Department, all members of the emergency response team, were injured in the gunfight with two heavily armed robbers outside a Bank of Montreal. 

Duthie said another Saanich officer is still in hospital in stable condition.   

Bowen Osoko, spokesman for Victoria Police Department, said one of their officers who was injured remains in hospital while two others are recovering at home. 

The department has decided against sharing the names or details of these officers to give them privacy, he said in an email. 

"Honestly, we’re still hurting and healing here," Osoko said. "We’ll revisit sharing that information in the future."

RCMP have taken over the investigation into the bank robbery, where 22-year-old twins, Mathew and Isaac Auchterlonie from Duncan, B.C., were killed by police on June 28.

Duthie said the injured officers and the Saanich Police Department have been overwhelmed by an outpouring of public support. 

"We are moving forward together on this. We are here for each other, and we are leaning on each other," he said. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2022.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press