Victoria, BC – Two Saanich Police members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) remain in hospital following surgery, with one Saanich Police member of GVERT recovering at home following a June 28th shooting incident in Saanich. One of these officers, who has been in the ICU since the incident almost two weeks ago, has seen his condition improve and was recently moved out of the ICU. One VicPD member of GVERT was released from hospital on Friday. All three injured VicPD officers, all members of GVERT, are now recovering at home.
At approximately 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 28th, officers with Saanich Police, GVERT, and VicPD responded to a call that two armed men had entered a bank in the 3600-block of Shelbourne Street in Saanich. Multiple officers responded to the scene and encountered the armed suspects who exchanged gunfire with police. Two suspects were shot by police and died at the scene.
Six GVERT officers suffered gunshot wounds and were transported to hospital. Three of these GVERT officers are members of Saanich Police and three of these GVERT officers are members of VicPD. Three officers were released from hospital following immediate medical care, and three officers sustained life-threatening injuries and remained in the hospital following surgery.
“The Saanich Police Department continues to move forward along the road of recovery and healing, which is heavily fueled by community and interagency care, support, trust and confidence,” said Saanich Police Chief Constable Dean Duthie. ”Our officers, civilian staff, and volunteers are deeply inspired by the strength and determination of our two officers in hospital as they continue to make day to day improvements. We are all very pleased to know that VicPD’s officers are now all at home resting and recovering.”
“The support from our community in the aftermath of this incident has been overwhelming,” said VicPD Chief Constable Del Manak. “I especially want to thank all of the medical professionals who cared for our injured officers and helped them on their road to recovery. Having this officer home and resting with his family is the next step in our recovery process, and we continue to keep those officers recovering, both in hospital and at home, in our thoughts.”
At both Saanich Police and VicPD, several officers and staff were involved in the incident in some capacity and continue to recover. Officers and staff continue to participate in critical incident debrief sessions with both peer support and the support of a psychologist.
Additionally, Saanich Police and VicPD officers affected by the incident are participating in workplace re-integration training. This training works to diminish the potential for long term psychological injury through a step-by-step process that addresses the unique stressors officers may experience after a critical incident. This includes consultation with a psychologist, exposure to firearms, acclimation to gunfire, and participant-led training. The program has been designed to acknowledge that the officer has been through a traumatic event and to provide the opportunity to work through any triggers the event has created, while ensuring the officer is in the safety of a controlled environment. The officers undergoing this training determine the pace and scope of the process, and are supported by their peers for the duration of the training.
The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU) continues the investigation into this incident. If you have information about this incident please call the VIIMCU information line at 250-380-6211.
Please direct media inquiries related to the investigation to Corporal Alex Bérubé with the BC RCMP: [email protected]. Please direct media inquiries related to the Saanich Police to Constable Markus Anastasiades: [email protected].