IMVE Attack: Saanich, British Columbia Bank Robbery
On June 28, 2022, brothers Mathew and Isaac Auchterlonie attempted to rob a Bank of Montreal branch in Saanich, British Columbia. After obtaining a small amount of cash, the perpetrators exited the bank where they were met with several police officers. Gunfire ensued and both brothers were killed in the exchange.
At first glance, it appeared the gunmen were financially driven and the shootout resulted from their failure to escape. However, the RCMP investigation into the incident found that the suspects were actually motivated by anti-authority views and instead planned the robbery to get the attention of police and kill as many officers as possible. Keep reading to learn more about the attack and how it was financed.
At approximately 11:00 a.m. on June 28, 2022, police and the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) responded to reports of an armed robbery at a Bank of Montreal branch in Saanich, British Columbia. Mathew and Isaac Auchterlonie, 22-year-old brothers from the nearby town of Duncan, entered the branch at 11:02 a.m. armed with rifles.
Inside the bank, there were 22 civilians including bank employees and customers. The brothers rounded up the hostages, walked them to the vault, and collected a limited amount of cash. Instead of attempting to leave as quickly as possible, the pair paced around the bank and looked out the windows towards the parking lot. After approximately 15 minutes, the attackers exited the building. Once outside, the brothers immediately began exchanging gunfire with the police and GVERT members, injuring six officers in the process. Both Mathew and Isaac Auchterlonie were shot by police and died from their injuries at the scene.
The ensuing investigation determined that the suspects’ primary objective was not to rob the bank, but instead to kill the police officers that responded to the call. The brothers planned the attack to protest against government regulations, especially those concerning firearms ownership and the COVID-19 vaccination mandate.