As community support continues to pour in for the police officers involved in last month’s bank shootout in Saanich, the Victoria Shamrocks announced they will be hosting a special “Stronger Together” game at The Q Centre this Friday.
The incident began shortly after 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 28th, at a BMO on Shelbourne Street.
Officers with the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team and additional Saanich and Victoria police departments responded to a call that two armed men had entered the bank located in the 3600-block of Shelbourne Street in Saanich.
Two heavily armed men, identified on Saturday as two brothers from Duncan, engaged in a shootout with officers outside of the building.
During the gunfight, six members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team were shot and the brothers died at the scene. Two officers currently remain in hospital after suffering potentially life threatening injuries at the time.
Both VicPD Chief Del Manak and Saanich Police Chief Dean Duthie are set to be in attendance, along with other members of department both detachment—including police service dog Maverick.
Manak and Duthie will take part in a special ceremonial faceoff and share a few words with the crowd before the game. The ceremonies will be begin around 6:45 p.m., July 22nd.
”Our officers, civilian staff, and volunteers are deeply inspired by this support, and we are so grateful to the Victoria Shamrocks for taking a moment to recognize the heroism and bravery of our police, while we continue to keep those recovering in our thoughts,” said Saanich Police Chief Constable Dean Duthie.
The Shamrocks are hosting two auctions in an effort to raise funds for those injured officers’ families. An online auction will run from Friday, July 22nd until Tuesday, July 26th.
There will also be an in-game silent auction for fans to bid on, that will run until the end of the second period.
“We wanted to do something for the injured officers and their families with our heartfelt appreciation and deepest gratitude for their bravery and dedication to keeping our communities safe,” said Shamrocks General Manager Chris Welch.
“There has been a long-standing connection between the sport of lacrosse and policing and we can see it today in the number of Shamrocks alumni and other lacrosse people serving in police forces not just here but all across the country and the Shamrocks could not be more proud to stand with the police.”
The Shamrocks are also encouraging the public to submit their short video messages of thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org which will be compiled and aired in-game, and shared with Greater Victoria Police and RCMP detachments.
A GoFundMe page launched by the Saanich Police Association and Victoria City Police Union called “Stronger Together” has well surpassed its goal of $100,000.
As July 20th, the campaign has raised over $266,000. Funds will go toward the assisting six officers injured.
Tickets for Friday’s game are available online here.
The BMO bank were the incident occurred reopened to the public on Tuesday—three weeks after the robbery and shootout.
With all damage repaired, including new windows, a large sign on the entrance that reads, “Thank you for your courage, bravery and support. We stand together. BMO.”
The bank has hired two security guards who will remain out front for the remainder of the week.
@SaanichPolice executive leadership team met with BMO management and staff today to personally share our thoughts and support as they reopen for business. The BMO team’s courage, care, and resilience is so inspiring. Standing strong together with BMO and @saanich pic.twitter.com/ujKaioTqVD
— Dean Duthie (@ChiefDuthie) July 20, 2022
- Where: The Q Centre! 1767 Island Hwy
- When: Friday, July 22nd, ceremonies start at 6:45 p.m.