At least 10 people have died and several others were hurt in what Canadian authorities are calling a mass stabbing, Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a news conference Sunday.
Authorities say there are 13 crime scenes where victims were found. Blackmore said it appears some of the victims were targeted and some were random.
Saskatchewan RCMP Commanding Officer statement of September 4, 2022
Thank you for being here. I am Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, the Commanding Officer of Saskatchewan RCMP. I would like to welcome and acknowledge the presence of the Chief of Police Evan Bray with the Regina Police Service.
I am here to share with you the details of today’s serious incident, and to ask for your continued vigilance.
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.