Canadian police killed two men and injured six officers in a shootout at a British Columbia bank on Tuesday, and nearby homes were evacuated after a possible explosive device was found, police said.
Members of the emergency response team arrived at the scene at the Bank of Montreal in Saanich, Vancouver Island, near the border with the US state of Washington, at around 11 a.m. (1800 GMT ), police said.
“This remains an ongoing police incident with a heavy police presence in the area,” Saanich Police said on their website.
“Residentials and businesses near the scene of the incident were evacuated due to the presence of a potential explosive device in a vehicle associated with the suspects.”
Police later said they were lifting a shelter-in-place order, but the block near the bank remained closed over the potential bomb.
The suspects were “heavily armed” and early reports suggested they were wearing body armor, Saanich Police Chief Dean Duthie told a news conference.
Six officers were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds, some of whom would soon be released but others “sustained very serious injuries and were operated on”, Duthie said.
A video posted on social media showed police officers and a police dog chasing them on foot to the sound of gunfire. Police have asked all witnesses to submit video evidence, CBC News reported.
“From what I know of this chaotic, tragic, dynamic and violent scene, the fact that no citizen was harmed in any way is truly incredible,” Duthie said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter he was “shocked and saddened” by the violence.
“I keep the police officers who were injured in today’s shooting – and their colleagues who also rushed into danger to keep people safe – in my thoughts,” Trudeau said.