Canadian police are searching for two suspects believed to have stabbed 10 people to death in the sprawling province of Saskatchewan.
The suspects injured 15 people and badly shook residents of the nearby village of Weldon in a series of knife attacks that prompted the James Smith Cree Nation to declare a state of emergency.
“No one in this town is ever going to sleep again. They’re afraid to open their doors,” said Weldon resident Ruby Orks, who was close to one of the victims.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the stabbings occurred at 13 separate locations in James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon.
RCMP say they are looking for 31-year-old Damian Sanderson and 30-year-old Myles Sanderson in connection with the stabbing. Police described Damian Sanderson as 5’7″ and weighing approximately 155 pounds. Myles Sanderson is 6’1″ and approximately 200 pounds. Police believe they may be driving a black Nissan Rogue.
Rhonda Blackmore, assistant commissioner of the RCMP Saskatchewan, said some of the victims appear to have been targeted by the suspects, but others appear to have been attacked at random. She couldn’t provide a motive.
“What happened in our province today is horrific,” Blackmore said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted, “Today’s attacks in Saskatchewan are horrific and heartbreaking. My thoughts go out to those who lost a loved one and those injured.”
Blackmore said police began receiving reports of stabbings at the First Nation community just before 6 a.m. News of more attacks quickly followed when police issued an alert around noon that a vehicle carrying two suspects had been spotted in Regina.
Police said the last information received from the public was that the suspects were seen there at lunch time. After that there was no sighting.
Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said Sunday night that the suspects are still at large and “we still believe the suspects may be in the city of Regina.”
“If in the Regina area, take precautions and consider shelter. Do not leave a safe place. Do not approach suspicious persons. Do not pick up hitchhikers. Report suspicious persons, emergencies or information to 9-1-1. Do not disclose police locations,” the RCMP said on Twitter. said in a news release.
Weldon resident Diane Shier said she was in her garden Sunday morning when she noticed emergency personnel a couple of blocks away.
Shear said her neighbor, who lived with her grandson, was killed. She did not want to identify the victim out of respect for his family.
“I was very sad because I lost a good neighbor,” he said.
The search for the suspects came as fans descended on Regina for the sold-out annual Labor Day game between the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The Regina Police Service said in a news release that with the help of the Mounties, they were working on multiple fronts to locate and arrest the suspects and “deployed additional resources for public safety throughout the city, including at the soccer game at Mosaic Stadium.”
An alert first issued by Melford, Saskatchewan RCMP was extended hours later to close Manitoba and Alberta as the two suspects were at large.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority says many patients are being treated at multiple locations.
“Additional staff were called in to respond to the influx of victims,” Ann Lineman, a spokeswoman for the authority, said in an email.
Mark Odan, spokesman for STARS Air Ambulance, said two helicopters were dispatched from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and another from Regina.
He said two patients were taken to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon and a third was taken to Royal University from a hospital in Melfort, a short distance southeast of Weldon.
Due to privacy laws, Odan said information about their ages, genders or conditions could not be released.
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