Police: Canadian bank robbers’ goal was to kill cops

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Opinion

SANICH, British Columbia – Twin brothers who died last summer in a gunfight outside a bank in Canada had been planning the attack for years, with the goal of so many officers were killed, police said Friday.

An investigation by the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit says 22-year-old Isaac Auchterlonie and his twin, Mathew, showed up at a Victoria, British Columbia-area bank on June 28, 2022, wearing full body armor and carrying rifles semi-automatic. .

The couple had strong anti-government and anti-police views and did not expect to survive the conflict, police said.

“It was determined that the main objective of the suspects was to shoot and kill police officers in what they saw as a stand against government regulations, particularly regarding gun ownership,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Alex Bérubé said at a press conference at the Saanich Police Department.

As the twins left the bank, members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team, who were in the area on an unrelated matter, went into the parking lot to assist other officers, police said.

Six officers were injured in the ensuing fight. An earlier report said the police fired up to 100 rounds at the suspects, killing both of them.

Bérubé said the couple had been planning “an act of extreme violence” since 2019 and initially wanted the shooting to take place in mid-2023.

They decided to move up the timeline after finding out they had to move out of the house they shared with their mother.

“The suspects decided that they could not move the arsenal of weapons to a new location without attracting attention, thus choosing the location of the bank at random,” said Bérubé .

In the trunk of their vehicle, police found more than 30 improvised explosive devices, four more guns and more than 3,500 rounds of ammunition.

The brothers had licenses for both unrestricted and restricted firearms, Bérubé said.

Police say that the 22 employees and customers who were held by the men during the 16 minutes they were in the bank were not targeted and were only being held to attract a police response.

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