More details are coming to light about the Vancouver Island twin brothers who were killed last week when police say they attempted an armed bank robbery in Saanich B.C.
Six officers were injured in the shooting but brothers Isaac and Mathew Auchterlonie of Duncan were both killed.
Until March 2020, Global News has learned Isaac was employed at Canadian Tire in Duncan, where he and Matthew’s apparent love for guns developed.
The brothers did work at Pacific Energy in Duncan until late June. The company manufactures wood stoves and gas fireplaces.
“We can confirm that they were employed at our facility between Nov. 2021 and June 2022,” Cory Iversen with Pacific Energy said in a statement. “While employed with us they gave no indication of the behavior they were capable of.
“We are fully cooperating with authorities and answering any questions that may help shed light on this tragedy. We would like to thank the brave Police officers involved in the senseless violence on June 28. We wish those wounded in the line of duty a full and speedy recovery.”
A former classmate of the brothers said they attended Frances Kelsey Secondary School in Mill Bay.
“I knew them back in high school as super nice guys that mostly just hung out with each other but did have a good group of friends,” Tanner Jacobs told Global News, adding he had lost touch with them in recent years.
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Police say the 22-year-old brothers were behind last Tuesday’s botched bank robbery in Saanich.
Following a shootout between the brothers and police, three officers from the Saanich Police Department were injured while three officers from the Victoria Police Department also suffered injuries.
Retired Saanich police officer Chris Horsley told Global News he noticed right away the similarities between this incident and the 1997 North Hollywood shootout.
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“That’s the first thing I thought of when I heard about how they were dressed,” Horsley said.
“It truly is the worst-case scenario because those suspects appear to have gone and prepared for an armed encounter.”
Similarities between Saanich BMO robbery and 1997 North Hollywood shootout
In 1997, two bank robbers wearing body armour and wielding assault rifles attempted a heist at the Bank of America in North Hollywood before engaging in a lengthy gunfight with police, most of whom were only armed with handguns.
“It was in one of the biggest cities of America yet they were able to hold off the LAPD for about 45 minutes,” Horsley added.
Both suspects were killed and 18 people, including 11 officers, were wounded in the gun battle Horsley said changed policing in North America.
“It’s the norm now for police agencies to carry some form of long gun or rifle in their vehicles,” he said.
The subject of the shootout was in a 2021 Instagram post on an account in Isaac’s name. The account has now been deleted.
6 officers injured in shooting at Saanich, B.C. bank, 2 suspects killed
Christian Leuprecht, a professor with the Royal Military College of Canada, called the case “puzzling.”
“The raid in itself on the bank is rather puzzling and the fact that they show up heavily armed for this type of raid, given that there’s no resistance to be expected from within the bank, so if you’re looking for resistance it’s going to be outside the bank,” he told Global News.
“People would know that these days it’s pretty tough to get away with these types of stunts, that police are pretty responsive. Emergency response teams for last 20 years have been pretty flexible and responsive to threats to public safety.”
Leuprecht said he thinks it did not look like a particularly professional operation, given that most bank robberies are carried out when thieves go after the money transports, not rob the bank itself.
“So that’s what makes me think that if they have social media postings that clearly show some affinities to previous shootings, that’s when they demonstrate some affinity for extremists, extremist views, disgruntled perspectives towards government, which then usually translates into disregard for authority and law enforcement.”
He added that may be why the brothers also ended up getting themselves into a shootout because they could have easily given themselves up.
“It’s entirely possible that the shootout was the intended objective of the bank robbery rather than the robbery itself.”
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