Victoria police seek 2 men believed to be witnesses to arson attack on Ukrainian priest's home

·2 min read
The family of a Ukrainian priest narrowly escaped their burning Victoria home in the early morning of April 20, 2022. (Mike McArthur/CBC - image credit)
The family of a Ukrainian priest narrowly escaped their burning Victoria home in the early morning of April 20, 2022. (Mike McArthur/CBC - image credit)

Police are asking the public to help them identify two men believed to be potential witnesses to an arson attack that forced the family of a Ukrainian priest to flee their burning home in Victoria last month.

Victoria's Major Crimes Unit has released pictures of the two men whose images were captured near the home in the 1100 block of Calendonia Avenue on April 20.

The family narrowly escaped the fire. Three girls had to be lowered by their mother out of the second floor window to their father and two bystanders waiting below. The mother was then rescued by firefighters with the help of a ladder.

A few days after the incident, investigators released images of a light-coloured, four-door vehicle, hoping the public could help them find the driver of that car.

Possible hate crime

The building was home to Father Yuriy Vyshnevskyy, the parish priest at the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St. Nicholas, located next door to the family home.

Victoria police said the men, who may have information relevant to the investigation, are not considered suspects.

Neither of these men are considered to be suspects in the arson at this time.

Victoria police
Victoria police

The first man is believed to be about 50 years old, white, about six feet tall, with a medium build, short, dark brown hair, and clean shaven. He wore a brown jacket with black areas near the shoulders, overtop a black sweater, dark blue jeans and dark coloured lace-up shoes.

Victoria Police
Victoria Police

The second witness is believed to be about 25 years old, either white or Middle-Eastern, six feet two inches tall, with medium-length dark brown hair shorter on the sides and back, and longer on the top. He also appears to have a short beard.

He was wearing a dark blue hooded coat, olive-brown pants, dark shoes and an army green backpack.

Anyone with information or who recognizes either of these two potential witnesses is asked to call the Victoria police at (250) 995-7654, Ext. 1.

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