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

This parking on the east side of Martin Street will be removed permanently Monday morning (June 21, 2021) to put in the Lake to Lake bike lane. (City of Penticton)
Parking removed permanently to make way for bike lane in downtown Penticton

Work begins Monday morning to replace parking spots with bike lane on Martin Street

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Gord Portman getting ready for the Father’s Day dunk tank fundraiser for Discovery House. So far Portman has raised $3,000. (Facebook)
Penticton man takes the plunge for recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

(File photo)
Supreme Court Justice rules Bay has to pay Penticton’s Cherry Lane mall

The ruling found that there had been no unavoidable delay preventing the Bay from paying their rent

Summerland cidery Millionaires' Row is hosting a Father's Day car and art show. (Facebook)
Vintage cars, art and cider for Father’s Day

Summerland’s Millionaires’ Row Cider Co. is hosting the car and art show

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Most Read