Twin brothers who died in a hail of gunfire last summer outside a Canadian bank had been planning their attack for years, with a goal to kill as many officers as possible, 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 the Victoria, British Columbia area bank on June 28, 2022, wearing full body armor and carrying semi-automatic rifles.
The pair had strong antigovernment and antipolice views and did not expect to live past the confrontation, police said.
“It was determined the suspects’ primary objective was to shoot and kill police officers in what they saw as a stand against government regulations, especially in relation to firearms ownership,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Alex Bérubé said during a news 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, drove into the parking lot to assist other officers, police said.
Six officers were injured in the ensuing gunfight. An earlier report said police fired as many as 100 rounds at the suspects, killing them both.
Bérubé said the pair had been planning some sort of “act of extreme violence” since 2019 and originally wanted the shootout to happen in mid-2023.
They decided to move up their timeline after finding out they had to move out of the house they shared with their mother.
“The suspects concluded that they could not move their arsenal of weapons to a new location without attracting attention, and thus electing the bank location at random,” Bérubé said.
In the trunk of their vehicle, police discovered more than 30 improvised explosive devices, four additional firearms and more than 3,500 rounds of ammunition.
The brothers had licenses for both non-restricted and restricted firearms, Bérubé said.
Police say the 22 staff and customers being held by the men during the 16 minutes they were in the bank were not targeted and were only being held to draw a police response.