Two attackers are at large after a stabbing spree in Saskatchewan, Canada, that has left at least ten people dead and 15 injured.
At 05:40 on September 4, Saskatchewan police received a call reporting a stabbing on the James Smith Cree Nation. In the following minutes, police received further, multiple calls reporting additional stabbings, at different locations in the community. Some of the victims were believed to have been attacked randomly. Officers were immediately dispatched to the locations in the community, to help the victims and to track the two suspects.
Police have named the suspects as Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson.
At 07:12, Saskatchewan police issued an initial Dangerous Persons Alert to residents of the James Smith Cree Nation and surrounding communities – including Candle Lake, Prince Albert, Melfort, Humboldt and Rosthern – informing the public of stabbings being committed by two male suspects, and asking the public to seek immediate shelter and shelter in place.
As the police investigation advanced and new information came to light, the police sent several additional updates to continue informing the public of this rapidly unfolding event. These included the names and photographs of the suspects and a description of the vehicle they were thought to be traveling in, which police reported as a black Nissan Rogue SUV with Saskatchewan license plate 119 MPI. It is not known whether the attackers have switched vehicles since or which direction they are traveling in.
Shortly after midday yesterday, police said the vehicle had been seen by a driver in Regina and asked the public in Regina to consider sheltering in place. In a statement, police asked residents across Saskatchewan and 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,” the statement said.
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said he was shocked and devastated by the attacks. “As Canadians, we mourn with everyone affected by this tragic violence, and with the people of Saskatchewan. We also wish a full and quick recovery to those injured.
“As this is an unfolding situation, I encourage everyone in the area to listen to the advice of law enforcement to take shelter and follow the proper precautions. If you have any information or tips for the police, please call 9-1-1.”
The Government of Canada has been in direct communication with the James Smith Cree Nation community leadership and stands ready to assist.
Police have not spoken of a motive for the attacks. However, in a message of condolence, Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan, said “this is the destruction we face when harmful illegal drugs invade our communities”.