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Officer badly injured in fatal B.C. bank shootout moved out of intensive care

Injured Saanich police officers recovering, department as a whole working on healing process
Saanich Police Department Chief Const. Dean Duthie addresses media during a briefing on the conditions of the three Saanich officers wounded in a bank robbery. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

One of two Saanich police officers still in hospital after being shot during an exchange of gunfire in a June 28 incident outside a Shelbourne Street bank has been moved out of the intensive care unit.

He and the other officer continue to recover from their wounds, the police department reports, after undergoing further surgeries. A third wounded Saanich member of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) that responded to the bank robbery is at home recovering.

One of the three Victoria Police Department members of GVERT injured by gunfire that day has been released from hospital following surgery and is at home recuperating, as are the other two VicPD officers.

Saanich Police Chief Const. Dean Duthie said the whole department is recovering and healing along with the wounded members, a journey “heavily fueled by community and interagency care, support, trust and confidence,” he said in a joint department release. The officers in hospital continue to make day-to-day improvements, he added, and are inspiring their colleagues with their strength and determination.

Victoria police Chief Const. Del Manak echoed Duthie’s comments about the support from the community in the aftermath of the incident, calling it “overwhelming.” He thanked the medical professionals who cared for the officers, all of whom are in the thoughts of those in his department.

RELATED STORY: Two Saanich officers still in hospital one week after fatal bank shootout

A number of officers and staff at both departments were involved in the incident and continue to participate in critical incident debrief sessions with peer and psychologist support.

Officers affected by the incident are also participating in workplace re-integration training, the release stated. The training aims to diminish the potential for long-term psychological injury by addressing unique stressors experienced by officers after a critical incident.

The process includes consultation with a psychologist, exposure to firearms, acclimation to gunfire and participant-led training. The program acknowledges that officers have been through a traumatic event and provides an opportunity to work through any triggers the event has created while ensuring the officer is in the safety of a controlled environment.

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU) continues the investigation into this incident. If you have information about this incident not yet reported to police, please call the VIIMCU information line at 250-380-6211.

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