Woman killed in Little Pine shooting was suspect’s ex, cousin says
Published Wednesday, October 12, 2016 5:41PM CST Last Updated Wednesday, October 12, 2016 7:45PM CST
A woman killed in an alleged shooting on Little Pine First Nation that sparked a manhunt across Saskatchewan and B.C. was the ex-girlfriend of the suspect, a family member tells CTV News.
A cousin of Tami Frank confirmed she was killed in the Monday night shooting on the west-central Saskatchewan First Nation and that Frank’s younger sister, Lacey, was injured in the incident.
The suspect in the murder, Sheldon Kyle Thunderblanket from the nearby Sweetgrass First Nation, was Tami’s ex-boyfriend.
“It’s just very senseless and very hard to understand,” the cousin said.
Thunderblanket was wanted on first-degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, mischief, assault and breach of undertaking charges, and was allegedly involved in the shooting of an RCMP officer in Golden, B.C. on Tuesday.
Mounties say the confrontation with police occurred after officers stopped a vehicle in connection with a possible theft near the weigh scales west of Golden.
The suspect opened fire on an RCMP officer, hitting her in the arm, before making an escape. The officer, Const. Amber Brunner, suffered a non-life-threatening injury and remains in hospital.
Police say the suspect then stopped an SUV and forced the people inside to get out at gunpoint.
Few other details have been confirmed, but witnesses say a man with a rifle was shooting at RCMP officers on the highway.
The stolen SUV was located late Tuesday night outside Revelstoke, and Thunderblanket was found dead Wednesday morning near the B.C. city.
The B.C. coroner’s service is still investigating the cause of his death.
Tami’s cousin said her relationship with Thunderblanket was off and on. He said Thunderblanket recently began showing violent behaviour towards her and the family but that family members still didn’t expect Tami to be killed.
“We didn’t see this coming. We thought maybe that was the worst he would get, but obviously not,” the cousin said.
An uncle of Thunderblanket said his family is shocked and speechless.
--- with files from CTV B.C.