The Commander of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in the province of Saskatchewan, Rhonda Blackmore, said at a press conference on Sunday, that the dead and injured were found in a total of 13 different locations in a rural area northeast of the city of Saskatoon. The police received a report of the first stabbings at 1:40 p.m. CEST. According to Blackmore, the attackers targeted some people on purpose, while others appeared to be accidental victims.
The motive for the attack is not yet known, however representatives of the indigenous communities speak of “drug related”. “This is the devastating consequence of harmful illegal drugs disrupting our communities.” said the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which brings together 74 Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan
“What happened in our province today is horrific,” he saidla Blackmore, who said they are dead in the village of Weldon and the nearby James Smith Cree Nation reservation, home to about 3,400 people who live mostly on agriculture, fishing and hunting. Weldon has a population of roughly 200.
“The suspects are on the run, we decided to extend the warning to (the provinces of) Manitoba and Alberta,” the police said in a statement. She especially warned residents of towns where, according to witnesses, the attackers were moving. Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan province, is one of them.
“If you are in the Regina areabe careful and think of possible shelter. Do not leave safe places. Do not approach suspicious persons. Don’t take a hitchhiker,” police said on Twitter. She also published photos of the suspects – 31-year-old Damien Sanderson and 30-year-old Myles Sanderson. According to local media, they are brothers.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority said the injured after the first casualties were reported Sunday morning local time (afternoon CET) accepted by several hospitals. Helicopters flew for some.
“Today’s attacks in Saskatchewan are horrific and heartbreaking. I am thinking of those who have lost their loved ones, as well as the injured,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “There are no words to describe the pain and loss this senseless violence has caused,” Saskatchewan Governor Scott Moe tweeted.
“It’s terrible how incarceration, alcohol and drugs destroy so many lives,” Michael Brett Burns, whose partner and mother of two is one of the victims of the attack, told Canadian APTN television.