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Sask. RCMP say suspects still at large after 10 killed, 18 injured in stabbings


Ten people are dead and another 18 are in hospital following multiple stabbings in multiple locations, according to Saskatchewan RCMP.

The attacks occurred on James Smith Cree Nation and in the community of Weldon, Sask. As of Sunday afternoon, police were investigating 13 separate crime scenes in relation to the attacks.

A dangerous persons alert involving the two suspects linked to the attacks was extended to Alberta and Manitoba earlier in the day.

"Let me be clear, we are still looking for the two suspects. We are asking residents across Saskatchewan and our neighbouring provinces to be vigilant," RCMP Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore said during a news conference in Regina Sunday afternoon.

The two suspects, Damien Sanderson, 31, and Myles Sanderson, 30, may have been spotted in the Regina area according to RCMP. Blackmore said they are considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

Blackmore said some of the attacks appear targeted while others may have been random.

Damien is described as five feet, seven inches tall, weighing 155 pounds. Myles is just over six feet tall, weighing 240 pounds, according to police.

"Our thoughts are with the many victims deceased and injured their family, friends and communities," Blackmore said.

"It is horrific, what has occurred in our province today," Blackmore said. She asked that anyone who may have been injured in the attacks and then taken themselves to hospital to contact RCMP.

"The whole village is in shock," Weldon Mayor Ron Clayton told CTV News.

He said a man in his 80s was seriously injured and later died Sunday morning.

Clayton said he saw the black Nissan Rogue the suspects were believed to have been travelling in.

In an update issued around 8:20 a.m., RCMP said the suspects may be travelling in a black Nissan Rogue with the Saskatchewan licence plate 119 MPI.

Clayton said the updated alert came after he had seen the vehicle.

Weldon resident Diane Shier said she was in her garden Sunday morning when she noticed emergency crews a couple of blocks away.

Shier said her neighbour, a man who lived with his grandson, was killed. 

"I am very upset because I lost a good neighbour."


In a subsequent update sent shortly after noon, RCMP said the two suspects linked to the attacks may have been travelling in the Arcola Avenue area of the city around 11:45 a.m. Sunday morning.

People living in Regina were instructed to take precautions and to consider sheltering in place.

"As the suspects are at large, we have also asked for the alert to be extended to Manitoba and Alberta," RCMP said in the update.

The Regina Police Service (RPS) said it is assisting the RCMP in its investigation to apprehend the two suspects.

"The Regina Police Service is actively investigating on several fronts to locate and arrest the suspects. In addition, RPS has deployed additional resources for public safety throughout the city, including the football game at Mosaic Stadium," Staff Sgt. Shane Riddell said in an email.

As the Saskatchewan Roughriders readied to face the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the annual Labour Day Classic matchup, the team also said the thousands of fans attending the game could expect to see an increased police presence at Mosaic Stadium and the surrounding area due to the ongoing situation.

"The club operates a centralized command centre on game day that allows immediate connection to local emergency services and the ability to receive up to the minute information when any sort of emergency occurs," a statement from the Roughriders said.

"In every situation, the club works hard to provide the safest and most enjoyable game day possible."

RPS chief Evan Bray joined Blackmore during her update.

"We still are operating with the belief that the suspects are in the city," Bray said.


RCMP in Saskatchewan first issued the dangerous persons alert Sunday morning in connection to multiple reports of stabbings on James Smith Cree Nation. RCMP later said that Weldon, Sask. was also the location of at least one violent incident.

Police did not immediately share details about the attacks or the number of victims.

Around 6 a.m., STARS air ambulance made three separate dispatches to James Smith Cree Nation Sunday morning.

Around 9:30 a.m., a fourth ambulance was dispatched to the area, this time to Melfort.

In a statement to CTV News, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said there was a "high number of casualties" related to the incident and a call for additional staff was issued to help respond to the influx of patients.

"We can confirm that multiple people are being triaged and cared for at multiple sites and are working with our medical teams to respond to patient needs as this incident unfolds," the SHA statement said.

The SHA confirmed it had initiated a "code orange" in response to the incident. A similar measure was taken in response to the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in 2018 that killed 16 people and injured 13 others.

The first alert issued just before 8 a.m. said police are searching for a pair of suspects "after several calls of stabbings" in the First Nation located roughly 40 kilometres northwest of Melfort.

In an update sent minutes later, the suspects were identified.

RCMP instructed people living in the area to seek immediate shelter or to shelter in place.

"Do not leave a secure location. Use caution allowing others into your residence," the RCMP alert said.

The alert also warned against approaching suspicious persons and picking up hitchhikers.

RCMP asked people living in the area to avoid disclosing police locations.

The alert said anyone in the area who spots a suspicious person or is experiencing an emergency should call 911.

Around 10 a.m., the alert was expanded from a more localized area to include the entire province.

Early Sunday afternoon, Prince Albert Police Service said it had set up checkpoints across the city to assist in the RCMP search.

The police service asked residents of the city to heed the recommendation to remain at a secure location and to be cautious about allowing others inside their homes.

Prince Albert is located roughly 70 kilometres northwest of James Smith Cree Nation.


In response to the incident, the elected leaders of James Smith Cree Nation unanimously declared a state of emergency on Sunday evening.

The state of emergency affects the Nation’s three communities including Chakastaypasin Band and Peter Chapman Band, according to a news release.

Two Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) have been established to help provide health support for the affected communities.

In a tweet, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe echoed Blackmore, calling the attacks "horrific."

"I want to offer my deepest condolences on behalf of the government and people of Saskatchewan to all of the family and friends of the victims of today’s horrific attacks," Moe said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also weighed in on the tragedy.

"The attacks in Saskatchewan today are horrific and heartbreaking. I’m thinking of those who have lost a loved one and of those who were injured," Trudeau said on Twitter.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald also expressed her condolences.

"My deepest condolences to the many families affected by today’s tragedy in James Smith Cree Nation," Archibald said in a statement.

Archibald said she had been in contact with leaders in the affected communities and would be following up with federal leaders including Trudeau and Indigenous Services minister Patty Hajdu "to ensure that James Smith Cree Nation is supported and looked after during this tragedy."

In a news release sent Sunday evening, the Government of Saskatchewan said it had activated its Provincial Command and would be providing victim services to the affected communities.

The province also said an increased security presence at area hospitals will remain into Monday.

Sixteen Provincial Protective Services staff would be used to "supplement" law enforcement, the news release said.

The government also said it has been in contact with leadership of both RCMP and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations "to offer the full support and resources of the province."

The province said flags at provincial government buildings had been lowered and will remain at half-mast one day for each life lost.

--With files from Lisa Risom, John Flatters, David Prisciak and the Canadian Press


A previous version of this story included an incorrect photo of Myles Sanderson which was supplied by RCMP. Top Stories

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