James Smith Cree Nation, Saskatchewan, CANADA – At least 10 people were killed and 15 more were injured during a series of stabbings at multiple locations in an around the area of the James Smith Cree Nation early Sunday morning.
A manhunt is underway for two suspects accused of stabbing dozens of people at 13 different scenes, according to Reuters.
The alleged killers have been identified as 30-year-old Myles Sanderson and 31-year-old Damien Sanderson.
Damien Sanderson stands approximately five feet, seven inches tall and weighs about 155 pounds, according to police.
He has brown eyes and black hair.
Myles Sanderson stands approximately six feet, one inch tall and weighs about 240 pounds.
He has brown eyes and brown hair.
Both should be considered armed and dangerous, Saskatchewan RCMP Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore said in a press release.
The suspects are believed to be traveling in a black Nissan Rouge SUV bearing Saskatchewan plate 119 MPI.
“Their location and direction of travel are unknown. This is why we need everyone in the province to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity by calling 911 immediately,” Commissioner Blackmore said. “If you see the suspects and/or their vehicle, do not approach them or their vehicle, immediately leave the area, and call 911.”
Indigenous leaders said in a statement that the attacks may have been drug related, Reuters reported.
“The two suspects are still at large, despite efforts through the night by @reginapolice and @RCMPSK,” Regina Police Chief Evan Bray tweeted on Monday. “If anyone has information that would assist in locating and safely taking Myles and Damien Sanderson into custody, we urge you to call police.”
Monday, Sept 5th morning update. The two suspects are still at large, despite efforts through the night by @reginapolice and @RCMPSK. If anyone has information that would assist in locating and safely taking Myles and Damien Sanderson into custody, we urge you to call police. pic.twitter.com/9DCJqo1Vj6
— Chief Evan Bray (@evanjbray) September 5, 2022
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Divisional Operational Communications Center (DOCC) received a call of a stabbing at the James Smith Cree Nation at 5:40 a.m. on Sept. 4, Commissioner Blackmore said.
“In the following minutes, our DOCC received multiple calls reporting additional stabbings, at different locations in the community,” she explained. “The suspects named were Damien Sanderson and Miles Sanderson.”
Three Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) air ambulance helicopters responded to the area as the calls continued to roll in, CNN reported.
One air ambulance crew began triaging the victims, and a physician was brought in on a second helicopter to help triage and lead the emergency response to the mass casualty incident.
A Dangerous Persons Alert was issued by the Saskatchewan RCMP at 7:12 a.m., urging residents of Rosthern, Humboldt, Melfort, Prince Albert, and Candle Lake to shelter in place.
Police informed the public about the series of stabbings and noted they were looking for two male suspects.
They later released photos, names, and descriptions of the suspects.
By 8:20 a.m., the Dangerous Persons Alert was extended to the entire province of Saskatchewan.
“At this point in our investigation, we have located 10 deceased individuals and are investigating 13 locations in the communities of the James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon in Saskatchewan,” Commissioner Blackmore said.
Fifteen additional injured victims were transported to area hospitals.
Commissioner Blackmore noted that even more victims might have transported themselves to various hospitals.
Police said the suspects’ vehicle was spotted in Regina at approximately 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, but a search for the vehicle turned up empty, CNN reported.
Regina is approximately 200 miles south of the James Smith Cree Nation.
“Let me be clear, we are still looking for the two suspects,” Commissioner Blackmore reiterated. “We are asking residents across Saskatchewan and our neighboring provinces to be vigilant. At this stage in our investigation, we believe some of the victims have been targeted by the suspects and others have been attacked randomly.”
“Our thoughts are with the many victims – deceased and injured – their families, friends and communities. It’s horrific what has occurred in our province today,” Commissioner Blackmore added. “Know that the Saskatchewan RCMP is committed and will remain committed to use every resource we have to locate and arrest these two individuals.”
Leaders of the James Smith Cree Nation unanimously declared a State of Emergency on Sunday in the wake of the mass stabbing.
The RCMP in Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan are handling the ongoing joint investigation, CNN reported.
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