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

Dooris Raad was last seen in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood on June 7. (Surrey RCMP photo)
(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of May 31

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

The Lower Mainland Green Team and students from Earl Marriott Secondary remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park. (Contributed photo)
Green Team returns to White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park to monitor previous work

Environmental volunteers, South Surrey students remove invasive species

People were lined up around the fields at a drop-in vaccine clinic at Newton Athletic Park on Tuesday (April 27, 2021), which is one of the high-transmission neighbourhoods that are being given vaccine priority. This clinic was one of at least three to open in the city on Tuesday. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s weekly cases continue to drop, push for 80% vaccination rate citywide

BCCDC reports 263 cases for Surrey the week of May 30 to June 5

Friends of Bear Creek Park held a ‘yellow-ribbon event’ on Saturday (June 12, 2021), with protesters at 84th Avenue and King George Boulevard and 84th Avenue and 140th Street. People were asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard “to celebrate and to show support for our trees in Bear Creek Park.” (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Protesters hold ‘yellow-ribbon’ event at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park

People asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard to ‘show support for our trees’

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read