Big Six bank rocked by violent crimes at branches

Spokesperson says bank is 'deeply saddened' by tragedies

Big Six bank rocked by violent crimes at branches

BMO Bank is reeling after two horrific incidents at separate branches.

Yesterday morning, a shootout at a Bank of Montreal branch in Saanich, B.C. left two suspects dead and six members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) wounded, reported the Times Colonist.

In describing the “chaotic, tragic, and violent” incident, Saanich Police Chief Dean Duthie said officers were responding to a report that two heavily armed men entered the bank on Shelbourne Street. Responding officers from Saanich, Victoria, and the GVERT encountered two suspects at the scene. The suspects opened fire at police, who shot back. Both suspects died in the altercation.

Three Saanich officers and three members of GVERT were wounded. Duthie said three of the wounded were expected to be released following treatment, while the others were taken into surgery as they sustained more severe injuries.

“This is a very difficult day for us here at the Saanich Police Department, for the Victoria Police Department and for the whole community of Saanich,” Duthie told reporters at a late afternoon press conference.

In a statement, a spokesperson for BMO, Jeff Roman, said the bank is “deeply saddened” by the incident. “The safety and security of our customers and employees is our priority and our thoughts are with every person impacted by today’s events,” said Roman, who also thanked emergency responders for their quick assistance and for helping to keep the public safe.

The incident follows a hold-up in at a downtown Toronto branch of BMO the day before which resulted in a bank employee being stabbed multiple times. As reported by CP24, the robbery happened just before 1 PM on Monday at a Chinatown bank branch near Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street West.

According to a Twitter post from Toronto police, a knife-wielding man with a red hoodie jumped the counter, stabbed the worker several times, then fled the scene. The victim sustained serious injuries and was rushed to a trauma centre.