A woman held hostage during a shooting at BC Bank experiencing a roller coaster


Shelli Fryer woke up at 2:54 on Canada Day and hoped that a pile of recently piled messages would help her close her eyes.

A 59-year-old woman from Langford, British Columbia, said she had sleep problems since Tuesday when she was taken hostage by a violent bank shooting in Saanich.

Since then, the flowing message has provided some of the comfort she was looking for and praised her courage during the trials, she said.

“There is so much love I get from all these strangers,” she said in a telephone interview. “It’s overwhelming.”

Six police officers were shot dead and 22-year-old twin brothers identified as Isaac Ohitarony in Duncan, British Columbia, were shot dead in a gun battle with police outside the Bank of Montreal in Saanich on Tuesday. ..

Police say multiple explosive devices were found in a vehicle linked to two unidentified men. Officers are still investigating the possibility of a third suspect.

Since then, Flyer has been mentally replaying the Tuesday morning event.

She pulled the blue Ford Bronco into the bank parking lot and promised a loan with her manager at 11am. Within a minute or two of sitting in the glass office, the fryer said he heard a big boom.

“The manager said,’We are robbed.’ He knew immediately.”

The flyer said that the 17 women and 5 men in the branch of the day all quickly reached the gray floor. She described the suspect as wearing a balaclava, gloves, a jacket, a vest, a bulletproof vest, and a pad that covers her knees and calves, all in black.

She remembered that a suspect came to the bank manager and said “vault”.

“He was staring at me twice. 20 seconds,” she said. “But I couldn’t see his eyes. I couldn’t see his mouth. I couldn’t see his skin color at all.”

The manager tried to give him the key, but the suspect pointed to the safe and left the flyer in the room and left with him. She waited for the shooter to come back for her.

“I think he forgot about me,” she said.

The flyer went down to the floor and called the police. Call logs on her phone show that she dialed 911 at 11:04 am.

She whispered an explanation of the situation on the phone and was afraid to break the “eerie silence” that had fallen on the branches and turn her attention to herself, she said.

She left the phone on so that the 911 operator could hear what was happening, and was suspected if the rescuer spoke and covered the phone with a long pink skirt so that the phone could not be seen. I turned down the volume so that I couldn’t hear. ..

She said there was “complete silence” because she “feels like eternity.”

The flyer said she was scared and experienced no dramatic moments when she hid behind a chair that she didn’t expect to provide much protection.

“In reality, it was like’I think I’m going to get out of it,'” she said. “I need to hire the police here. I’ll let the police know. It’s okay if the police come here.”

But then she said, “almighty gunshots” rang, gasping for a memorable shock.

At that time, she ran and hid alone under the shelves in the manager’s office, while others evacuated to the filing room.

The fryer said that while half of her brain felt the urge to panic, the other half reminded her to “just breathe.”

“The worst thing that’s likely to happen is that those shots will go through drywall and you’ll be hit,” she recalled.

The flyer’s phone showed her call at 911, and the trial lasted 1 hour 26 minutes 5 seconds.

The memory of the fryer’s attack is sharp, but she said the rest of the day was gone by police interviews, preparations to get her car back, and finally a blurry Asian food meal with her daughter.

She said the trauma of being held hostage was riding the waves. She said the flyer was discussing her feelings with police and victim services and was told that it would take time to process what she had experienced.

“It’s back and forth, do you know? It’s like sadness. You go through all the stages, right? Sometimes you don’t reach the final stage.”

But in a quiet moment, the fryer said he best remembers seeing police pass through a bank door and hearing their concerns about those trapped inside.

“The first word all officers said to us was,” I’m sorry this is happening to you. ” Even when they just entered the shootout, “she said. “… and long after, it turned out that six of their arm brothers were shot and injured.”

She said she felt “terrifying” and “guilty” because she wasn’t thinking of asking police officers if the police were injured.

“And all of their energy and body language in and out of the crime scene gave us no reason to even think about asking,’Is the officer injured?’ “

Saanich police chief Dean Duthie said three officers were hospitalized, including one in the intensive care unit, but another needed more surgery.

Flyer was born in Chicago and came to Canada at the age of seven. Her experience with police last week made her feel “very proud” of being Canadian, she said.

Since starting to talk about his banking experience on Tuesday, Flyer said she has received messages from strangers aside and from people she knew in another lifetime.

After graduating from high school at the age of 18, I received an email from my first roommate who lived with me while doing my first job.

“We’ve lived together for eight years and I was a bridesmaid at her wedding. I haven’t seen her since 1989. She reached out. Isn’t it fun? “She said.

“This will change my life in many ways, and I am very grateful now that it may be so cool.”

The flyer was also able to find ups and downs such as long-sleeved shirts, pink maxi skirts, and pink high-heeled sandals, such as what to do with the clothes he wore at the bank on Tuesday.

“I’m going to throw it away,” she said. “I had it for a long time anyway. Or I have to assemble it. But I really like it too.”

She even planned to return to the bank, saying that the employee was coerced and showed incredible professionalism, and the manager couldn’t fly.

“I have to finish my promise,” she said with a laugh. “I sat for two minutes. It was interrupted.”

Hina Alam

Canadian press