Abbotsford resident Garry Amyot helped prevent a suspect from stealing money and possibly hurting others at a Scotiabank location in Abbotsford. (Submitted)

Abbotsford resident Garry Amyot helped prevent a suspect from stealing money and possibly hurting others at a Scotiabank location in Abbotsford. (Submitted)

‘I’m not going to die today’: B.C. man 1 of 4 to stop bank robber

68-year-old Garry Amyot shares story of how he and others prevented potential tragedy in bank

Garry Amyot went to Scotiabank in Abbotsford on Wednesday (June 2) to check on the status of a new bank card, but instead he helped thwart an armed robbery.

Amyot, 68, was one of four customers inside the bank on Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way who tackled the gun-wielding culprit before the suspect could leave the premises.

Amyot said he was in a line to inquire about his new card at about 11:30 a.m. when another customer walked past the line, and Amyot noticed the person was acting unusual.

“All of a sudden, the guy walks in past us, pulls out a 12-gauge shotgun and yells out, ‘Everybody! This is a bank robbery, nobody move!’ ” Amyot said.

“So I’m looking from a little distance and I see the shotgun, and I own and know firearms so I’m thinking this is pretty serious, but I’m also thinking, ‘I’m not going to die today.’ “

The suspect threw a bag to Amyot, who then passed it to a teller. As the tellers began filling the bag with money, Amyot shared a glance with another customer behind the suspect and the wheels began turning in his head.

“When I looked at that guy I just knew he was going to do something no matter what,” Amyot said, noting he could tell the fellow customer looked irritated. “I wasn’t going to let him do this by himself. I winked at him and that was the green light – we were comrades in this situation.”

Suddenly, the other man in line grabbed the suspect’s gun and pointed it straight up to avoid anyone getting hurt. Amyot quickly followed and tackled the suspect.

“It all happened so freaking fast,” Amyot said. “The other guy grabbed the barrel of the shotgun and then milliseconds later – bang! – we’re all on the ground. I’ve got my arms around his back and my elbow in his face and we have him pinned down. The gun was on the floor and I remember telling someone, ‘Kick that gun out of the way!’ “

Two other customers assisted in restraining the suspect until the police arrived a few minutes later.

“It was so surreal; it all happened so fast,” Amyot said.

RELATED: 4 customers tackle armed bank robber in Abbotsford

Amyot, who has about 15 years of martial arts training, said the situation was intense but he felt confident.

“It was all instinct,” he said. “But my adrenaline was pumping so fast after that.”

Amyot, who works at Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Abbotsford, said Tuesdays and Wednesdays are his days off but after the incident at the bank he decided to engage in some liquid counselling.

“I went and had something to eat because I hadn’t ate anything all day but the next thing I did was go to the liquor store. I bought a case of beer, came home, had a shot of tequila and a beer or two,” he said.

When Amyot arrived home after the incident, he discovered that the bank card he had gone to the bank to check on had arrived in the mail.

He said he doesn’t consider himself a hero and just wanted everyone in the bank to be safe.

Amyot has lived in Abbotsford on and off for the past two decades and said he thinks it would be nice for the man who stopped the suspect and himself to receive some sort of recognition from the city.

“I’d be OK with getting some sort of commendation or a placard or a medal from the city of Abbotsford,” he said. “We just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

He also said he’d be OK with getting some sort of acknowledgement or tip of the hat from Scotiabank itself.

“It’s good that it all came out the way it came out, but I’d be fine if Scotiabank decided to take care of whatever is left on my credit card for me,” he joked.

The 46-year-old suspect remains in police custody facing numerous charges, including robbery and weapons offences. Police are continuing to investigate.

abbotsfordCrime

Just Posted

Brodie Stuart and her mom, Mikel Stuart, gather for the celebration at Parkview Elementary on June 18, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Eagle Valley News)
Three Shuswap parents honoured for combined 34 years of volunteering

Parkview Elementary parent advisory council members surprised by appreciative flash mob

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Centennial Field in Blind Bay will be the site of Market by the Bay on Thursday nights starting June 24, 2021. (Columbia Shuswap Regional District photo)
Forty vendors expected for new Market by the Bay in the South Shuswap

Market starting June 24 to be situated at Centennial Field in Blind Bay

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to collect donations ahead of Kristy Handel’s 33-kilometre run for Chelaine McInroy (pictured) to cover costs for a new prosthetic leg after her June 12, 2021, surgery. (GoFundMe)
Salmon Arm woman runs to raise funds for friend’s new prosthetic leg

33-kilometre Run for Chelaine to help athlete cover medical costs from latest surgery

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read