Fabien Cousineau was just stepping outside after buying some bike parts on Tuesday morning when a policeman came and told him not to move.
Unable to reach his truck, Cousineau stayed where he was. Across the street, in the Saanich, BC, northern Victorian neighborhood, is the Bank of Montreal.
“I was looking and there were some cops making their way with a police dog to the bank and that’s when I said to myself, ‘Well, I think there’s a hold at the bank,'” he said. he told CTV News Vancouver Island, becoming emotional as he recalled the events.
“And just as I said that, the gun went off, the glass shattered, and saw several policemen fall.”
He remembers seeing one person, a “thief”, apparently shot, while the police pulled the wounded officers back to safety and loaded them onto the cruiser before driving away.
“I just pray that they will be okay,” Cousineau said.
Officers from Saanich Police, Victoria Police and the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team responded to reports of armed suspects at a bank in the 3600 block of Shelbourne Street around 11am. according to local time.
Police say the two armed suspects began shooting at officers when they arrived.
The officers then returned fire, killing the two suspects. Six police officers are in hospital with gunshot wounds.
Three of the six officers shot were members of Saanich police, while the other three were from Victoria Police.
“At this point, we anticipate that some officers will be released after emergency treatment, while other officers are very seriously injured and have been admitted to surgery,” Police Chief Saanich Const . Dean Duthie said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Cleo Gagner and her son had just finished shopping at a nearby veterinary clinic when they heard what appeared to be multiple gunshots.
“I’ve never heard gunfire so loud and fast before,” she said.
They and a few others ran back to the vet’s office and waited.
Not long after, more policemen began to arrive, guns drawn.
“I don’t think anyone wakes up and thinks it’s happened today. I’m really sad for their family,” she said.
With files from CTV News Vancouver Island