A series of stabbings left 10 dead and 15 injured on Sunday in two isolated communities in Saskatchewan.
Manhunt in Canada. The towns of James Smith Crew Nation and Waledon woke up in mourning on Monday after several knife attacks left ten dead and fifteen injured in these two isolated localities in Saskatchewan, a province of the country.
While the population is still trying to understand the reasons that led the two suspects to take action, one of them was found dead by the police. The other is still actively sought by the authorities.
• One of the bloodiest attacks in the country
Canadian police received a first call at 5:40 a.m. local time reporting a stabbing attack at James Smith Cree Nation, followed by others. Authorities recovered ten bodies in the Aboriginal community and in the nearby town of Weldon in the western province of Saskatchewan.
“Several other victims have been injured, 15 of whom have so far been transported to various hospitals,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore told a press conference.
Sign of the extent of the tragedy: the locality of James Smith Cree Nation, which has 2,500 inhabitants, has declared a state of emergency locally. The people of Saskatchewan have also been asked to stay at home, for safety reasons. The alert and search also extended to the neighboring provinces of Manitoba and Alberta.
The country with the maple leaf has been affected in recent years by a succession of dramatic events. In January 2017, six people died and 19 were injured in attacks targeting the Grand Mosque of Quebec. In April 2020, 22 people were killed by a shooter posing as a police officer in Nova Scotia, the deadliest killings perpetrated on Canadian soil.
• “Targeted” victims, others “randomly attacked”
No information has yet been released about the victims of these attacks. However, Canadian police “believe” that some of those killed “were targeted by the suspects and others were randomly attacked.
“Talking about a pattern is extremely difficult at the moment,” added Rhonda Blackmore.
The fact that these attacks took place in a city populated by an Aboriginal community did not fail to react to Bobby Cameron, leader of the Federation of Sovereign Aboriginal Nations of Saskatchewan. “This is the destruction we face when harmful illegal drugs invade our communities,” he wrote in a statement reported by Radio-Canada.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded by calling the attacks “horrible and heartbreaking”.
• Suspect still wanted, arrest warrant issued
The suspects were quickly identified: they are two men called Damien Sanderson and Miles Sanderson, aged 30 and 31, with black hair and brown eyes. The two individuals apparently fled in a black Nissan Rogue. The police force announced that one of the two, Damien Sanderson, was found dead in one of the localities where the murders took place.
Miles Sanderson was, according to the Saskatoon Police Department, wanted by law enforcement since last May for failing to comply with his judicial review. He had been sentenced to nearly five years in prison, notably for theft.