Canada

Multiple people shot amid attempted bank robbery in Saanich, B.C.

Several people have been shot and two suspects have been arrested after an attempted bank robbery in Saanich, B.C.

Police were asking the public to avoid the area around the 3600-block of Shelbourne Street early Tuesday afternoon as they search for a “possible additional suspect.”

Around 12:30 p.m., police were asking residents in the area – between North Dairy Road to Cedar Hill Cross Road, and between Richmond Road to Cedar Hill Road – to shelter inside their homes as officers continued to respond to the incident.

Witness Brenda Boyd told CTV News she was walking near the intersection of Shelbourne and Pear streets when she heard at least 25 gunshots around 11:30 a.m.

She said a police officer, who was hiding behind bushes, yelled to her to leave the area immediately.

Boyd also said she saw at least three people being taken away on stretchers into waiting ambulances.

Saanich police have confirmed several people were injured in the incident. (CTV News)

Another witness said he was in a nearby bike shop when he saw “two policemen get shot” and saw another person lying on the ground in a parking lot.

“It was just terrible,” Fabien Cousineau said. “They were dragging policemen behind a police van.”

Traffic was still being diverted from the area shortly after noon.

“Officers responded to a report of armed suspects at a bank in the 3600-blk of Shelbourne St.,” Saanich police said in a statement on their Twitter account at 12:06 p.m. “There was an exchange of gunfire. Multiple people have been injured. Please continue to avoid the area.”

Multiple people shot amid attempted bank robbery in Saanich, B.C.Saanich police have confirmed several people were injured in the incident. (CTV News)

‘IT WAS RAPID GUNFIRE’

Cleo Gagner and her 15-year-old son were buying cat food in a veterinary clinic near the Bank of Montreal on Shelbourne Street when she said they heard what sounded like two gunshots.

“Boom, boom,” she told CTV News in the minutes after the incident. “And then it was rapid gunfire. Multiple gunshots from multiple shooters.”

She estimated they heard 40 to 50 shots in quick succession.

“Then a Saanich police officer started driving up towards the BMO with his door open,” she said. “He gets out of his vehicle, draws his gun… and then the gunfire escalated and he retreated away.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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