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

Traffic will be diverted through Radium along highways 93 and 95 as a part of the closures. (Claire Palmer photo)
Extended closures to Trans-Canada Highway announced east of Golden this fall

It’s the second round of extended closures as a part of Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

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

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

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Most Read