Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “shocked and devastated” by horrific attacks in Saskatchewan

The suspects. Photo: RCMP

PRIME Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday in a statement on the attacks in Saskatchewan, said: “I am shocked and devastated by the horrific attacks today in James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, Saskatchewan, that claimed the lives of 10 people and injured many more.”

Trudeau added: “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 RCMP in Saskatchewan are posting all their latest updates on their website.”

The Prime Minister said: “I thank the first responders for their hard work to apprehend the suspects, protect people, and treat the injured. The Government of Canada has been in direct communication with the James Smith Cree Nation community leadership and we are ready to assist in any way we can. Those responsible for today’s abhorrent attacks must be fully brought to justice.

“To James Smith Cree Nation and the people of Saskatchewan: You are in our thoughts. We are here to support you during this difficult time.”

 

ASSISTANT Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, Commanding Officer of Saskatchewan RCMP, said in her statement earlier:

 

TODAY, September 4, 2022, at 5:40 this morning, the Saskatchewan RCMP Divisional Operational Communications Center, or our DOCC, received a call reporting a stabbing on the James Smith Cree Nation. In the following minutes, our DOCC received multiple calls reporting additional stabbings, at different locations in the community. The suspects named were Damien Sanderson and Miles Sanderson.

Melfort RCMP officers and other resources were immediately dispatched to the locations in the community, to help the victims and to track the two suspects.

At 7:12 a.m., Saskatchewan RCMP 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, Saskatchewan RCMP sent several additional updates to continue informing the public of this rapidly unfolding event.

At 7:57 a.m., an updated Alert was sent to the same communities, with the names, descriptions, and pictures of the two suspects.

At 8:20, the Dangerous Persons Alert was extended to the entire Province of Saskatchewan, as the investigation confirmed the two suspects – Damian Sanderson and Myles Sanderson – were travelling in a vehicle.

At 9:45 a.m., a fourth Dangerous Persons Alert was sent to the entire province, indicating multiple victims in multiple locations were located, including one victim outside of the James Smith Cree Nation in the community of Weldon, Saskatchewan, and that some victims were believed to be attacked randomly. A description of the suspect vehicle and the correct picture to identify Myles Sanderson were included.

At 11:25, we sent requests to Manitoba RCMP and Alberta RCMP to extend the Dangerous Persons Alert to the residents of their provinces.

At 12:07, a fifth Alert update was sent advising the residents of Saskatchewan the suspect vehicle had been seen by a driver on Arcola Avenue in Regina and asked the public in Regina to consider sheltering in place.

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.

Several additional victims have been injured, 15 of which at this point have been transported to various hospitals. There may be additional injured victims who transported themselves to the various hospitals. We ask any injured person who hasn’t already spoken to police to please contact 310-RCMP (306-310-7267).

Currently, we are actively looking for the two suspects, helping the victims and investigating the many crime scenes. We are dedicating a maximum number of resources to this investigation, and thank our many provincial and inter-provincial policing partners who are providing additional support.

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. 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 two suspects are Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson.

Damien Sanderson is described as a 31-year-old male, 5 foot 7, 155 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Myles Sanderson is a 30-year-old male, 6 foot 1 and 240 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Their pictures are available on our social media channels and websites.

If they are listening, I would like to ask them to turn themselves in to police.

They are considered armed and dangerous. They are believed to be in a black Nissan Rogue SUV with Saskatchewan licence plate 119 MPI. At this point, we don’t know if they have changed vehicle since this morning. 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.

If you see the suspects and/or their vehicle, do not approach them or their vehicle, immediately leave the area, and call 911.

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. Know that the Saskatchewan RCMP is committed and will remain committed to use every resource we have to locate and arrest these two individuals.

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